SALISBURY — Phase 2 of the town’s Partridge Brook Park project received a big head start after the town was recently awarded a $400,000 state grant.
Salisbury built athletic fields and a playground behind Salisbury Elementary School thanks to a $400,000 state Parkland Acquisition and Renovations for Communities grant five years ago.
The so-called PARC grant was awarded to the town in 2013 and accounted for a 58% match of the Partridge Brook Park project cost with the town paying $290,000 for construction of Phase 1.
Planning Director Lisa Pearson was given the go-ahead to apply for another $400,000 PARC grant in July and she was happy to report the town received notice that the application was approved.
That grant will allow the town to move ahead with Phase 2, including construction of a skate park, an additional utility playing field and enhanced handicapped accessibility to the playground.
The project will include a new skate park; a roller/street hockey rink; soccer, lacrosse, flag football fields; a playground; solar trash cans; tree planting; trails; and public playing areas, according to State House News Service.
“The Parks and Recreation Commission is excited to begin working on the designs and getting this thing funded,” Pearson said. “Now, we will look toward other sources to help make the park the best that we can and we have a lot of people interested in doing that. So we are hoping to pull everybody together to really make this next phase something that Salisbury can be proud of.”
She said the town should receive $70,000 in engineering money from the state first.
“We will do a study and figure out the critical pieces of the project,” Pearson said. “The Parks and Recreation Commission and residents have been asking for us to finish the extra fields that are out there and clean up that area. There is room for another playing field, as well as a skate park. Then, finishing up the playground and creating connectivity from the rail trail to the trails throughout the park.”
Pearson said the project’s engineering phase will need to be completed by the beginning of the next fiscal year in July.
She said a public hearing will be held on the matter during a future Parks and Recreation Commission meeting.
“We have been talking about a skatepark for a few years and we will look into what the scope of that will be,” Pearson said. “We also have another phase of the playground and have talked about putting out some adult exercise opportunities in front of the park and along the rail trail.”
Staff writer Jim Sullivan covers Amesbury and Salisbury for The Daily News. He can be reached via email at email@example.com or by phone at 978-961-3145. Follow him on Twitter @ndnsully.