Town Common a construction zone
By Seth Thomas Gulledge
The Daily Reflector
Sunday, May 27, 2018
Visitors to the Town Common during the Memorial Day holiday have to navigate several construction projects at the park.
Crews for several weeks have been hammering away at improvements that are among several outlined in phase one of the Town Common master plan in addition to work on the Town Creek Culvert.
Even while residents are encourage to visit and participate in Monday’s Memorial Day ceremony and view the Field of Honor flag display, work is progressing on a long-awaited bathroom facility near the popular inclusive playground, which itself has undergone repair work in recent weeks. Workers have begun to frame in the bathroom building and site visitors see the frame’s wooden outline.
According to Gary Fenton, director of the Recreation and Parks department, construction on the $422,400 project is expected to be complete in July.
The facility will include six stalls each for men and women and multiple sinks. Fenton said the restrooms will be heated and available during park hours throughout the year. They will be secured by magnetic locks set on a timer.
Nearby, work on a picnic pavilion is expected to be complete sometime in June. Further east, massive construction work on the city’s Town Creek Culvert project is underway.
The $33 million upgrade to the stormwater drainage system has been ongoing for several weeks, with machinery on the park’s east end creating Greenville’s version of a big dig. The work is expected to last 30 months as in moves north into the downtown area.
The Town Creek Culvert is responsible for draining stormwater from about 250 acres downtown and in adjacent areas. It begins near Ninth and Ficklen streets and continues to an outlet into the Tar River between Reade Circle and South Summit Street.
Also on the horizon for the park are two additional improvements: the Sycamore Hill Gateway Plaza and a planned kayak/canoe launch. According to Fenton, work on the kayak launch should begin sometime in the next few months.
The Sycamore project is was approved in September at a cost of $2 million. It is still in the design phase, but construction is expected to begin late this year and take about 8-10 months to complete.