County looking for ideas for new park

Published 2:40 pm Thursday, March 16, 2017

The possibilities are endless.

There are two gymnasiums. A big field with seating for thousands. A cafeteria. Plenty of rooms.

It’s the Davie High School campus, and the new Davie Recreation and Parks Department wants everyone’s help in deciding what amenities will be in the park being built once the school moves this summer.

Davie County Schools will move its central offices into the building that houses the media center, closest to US 601 South in Mocksville. The oldest buildings will be demolished.

Then it will be turned over to Davie County, and recreation offices will move there. And amenities.

“We’re doing this the right way,” said Paul Moore, recreation director. “We want the most public input as possible.”

An online survey is available at or by accessing the department via Facebook. Surveys are also available at the rec offices in the Brock Building on North Main Street in Mocksville.

It will be the first county-owned park, and Moore said plans are to build at least part of it so revenue can be generated.

Across the country, there’s only one public park that is self sufficient, he said. Only a few generate half of needed revenue.

“We’re not going to be a Dan Nicholas Park, but we can have features that draw people here and help take the burden off of the taxpayers,” he said.

The cafeteria could be rented to a food vendor.

The idea of a splashpad was an early online favorite, Moore said, adding that about half of the public splash pads he’s seen charge a small admission fee.

There could be walking trails, all types of exercise equipment, rock climbing wall, bicycle tracks, an ampitheater, ball fields, a rodeo arena. The list could go on and on. “We’re inheriting good facilities that have been taken care of,” he said. “The structures are really good.”

The department has hired consultants to lead the processs. It will receive the cafeteria, the classroom building between the cafeteria and the two gyms, and the two gyms.

Moore said that whatever is built, maintenance has to be a consideration. The department will also maintain the Brock Gym, its current headquarters, which Moore said has an “NBA quality” gym floor.

By going through all of the public processes, it opens the county up for grants to help with construction on the 33-acre site.

“It’s your tax dollars,” Moore told a handful of residents at a public meeting last month. “We want to make sure our residents have something they will be proud of.”

The goal is to have facilities that will be for infants to active older adults, he said, adding that he wants to feature the history of the school.

Moore hopes to eventually work with community groups that own local ball fields and playgrounds. “My vision is for you, no matter where you live, to have a little park for you to enjoy nearby, rather than going to the big park in Mocksville.”

When it comes to county-owned park land, Davie County ranks last in North Carolina.

“We’re going to change that, and you’re going to have a hand in that.”

The final public “Design Your Own Park” workshop will be Monday, March 20, 5:30-7:30 p.m. in the Davie High School media center. The interactive workshop will focus on design elements to help create a visual of the new park.

“It is important to facilitate a collaborative design that will have high impacts for all Davie County residents and visitors. Park design is crucial for the success of any park system,” he said.

Complete the online public survey by 10  p.m. on March 20.

Moore hopes to take two plans to county commissioners this fall for final consideration.