China Grove approves $83,000 in renovations for community building park

Published 12:05 am Saturday, September 9, 2017

By Josh Bergeron

CHINA GROVE — The Town Council this week approved plans to add playground equipment and other amenities to a green space surrounding the community building on Myrtle Avenue.

After receiving a presentation from the Parks Board Chairwoman Emily Mabrito, the China Grove Town Council approved $83,000 in renovations. The renovations include: two playground units, adult fitness equipment, bench swings, protective fencing and lighting.

Town Council members expressed excitement about the renovations, which could be complete by November.

Mabrito said the town’s parks board decided to focus on the China Grove Community Building and its surrounding park for improvements because it’s large and centrally located. A large number of China Grove residents would be able to walk from their homes to the park, she said.

“That entire block is a huge asset to the town,” she said.

The block described by Mabrito is bounded by South Myrtle Avenue, Stevens Street, Cedar Street and 1st Street.

During her presentation, she said the China Grove Community Building park could be a center of family activities and a location for community gatherings and venue for community events.

Two years ago, Mabrito and her family moved to China Grove from Charlotte. Mabrito and her husband, who have three children, looked for a town that had a park within walking distance, held events that they could take children to and a town that was growing.

She said phase one of the community building park, which was funded by the Town Council, would have a playground for 2- to 5-year-old children. A second playground unit would be for 5- to 12-year-old children.

She said the playgrounds would have eight slides, two rock climbing stations, six total swings and a handicap ramp. A protective fence would be installed to prevent children from running into the road.

As presented during the town council meeting, the financial breakdown of phase one improvements is as follows: $60,000 for playground equipment, $11,000 for adult fitness equipment, $3,000 for bench swings and $9,000 for protective fencing.

Those improvements are in addition to the $100,000 allocated to the community building in China Grove’s 2017-2018 budget.

Other potential changes to the the areas surrounding China Grove’s Community Building include: two small picnic shelters, a large shelter with parking and a stage that could also be used as a venue for outdoor movies. Those changes were not funded in this week’s vote by the Town Council members, but Deal said the town would seek grant funding to pay for future phases of park improvements.

At one point during the meeting, Mayor Lee Withers pondered how the town might look once China Grove finishes renovations to park at the community building and another park desired on a 40-acre site on Patterson Street. Withers said the town could build a greenway to connect the two sites, which are within walking distance of one another.

A former landfill, the 40-acre site, however, is not as far along as the China Grove Community Building park.

Contact reporter Josh Bergeron at 704-797-4246.