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Downtown: Terrill Park plan updated; light sabers relocated

  • An updated rendering for Terrill Park nixes the splash pad but adds parking and keeps key elements of the plan, like the proposed turf field and an accessible playground. Courtesy of the city of Concord



Monitor staff
Sunday, December 17, 2017

There may not be a splash pad anymore, but an updated proposal for Terrill Park shows that the city still has big plans for this Concord green space.

The Concord city council accepted the Parks & Recreation Department’s newest report on the Manchester Street park and gave the go-ahead last week for design work to continue.

Aside from the removal of a splash pad, the changes are really about accommodations: The Merrimack River Greenway Trail is highlighted throughout the park, and about 32 additional “green” parking spaces were added – bringing the number of expected spaces to 187 – along with a bus turnaround lane, according to a report by Parks & Rec Director David Gill.

Several features, while not as literally splashy as a splash pad but still eye-catching, include a turf field, a larger dog park, inclusive playgrounds that could accommodate wheelchair users and workout stations along the river walk. Those features will remain as part of an effort to help Terrill Park stand out from other city parks.

How the project would be implemented and paid for, however, has changed. While the projected overall cost of the new Terrill Park hasn’t really moved – estimates from Bedford-based firm Vanesse Hangen Brustlin Inc. are anywhere from $2.8 million to just under $4 million – the project is now broken out into three phases instead of two, according to the report.

The heftiest work – installing the turf field, fencing, bleachers, press box with a scoreboard, parking lot and dog park – would still happen first. That phase is projected to make up the bulk of the cost at $2.4 million to $2.9 million.

But night games and ball park franks would have to wait, as that’s a part of Phase 2.

Adding the workout stations, playground and picnic shelters would come last.

Gill said the plan for how the park will come together is not set in stone, noting that more phases may need to be added to break out the costs of the project. He also said the park has about $800,000 budgeted in private donations in the city’s Community Improve Program.

At least one of those potential donors is the Concord Crush Lacrosse League, Gill said.

The nonprofit league, which encompasses about 250-300 youth players a year, sent a letter of support in August saying it would “consistently rent space at the turf field throughout the year, mainly in the spring prior to and during spring lacrosse season.”

Whether the league’s support would go beyond renting is still up in the air, according to league Vice President Scott Daniels. In a way, the city and the league are already financial partners; Daniels said the league pays the city to handle its sign-ups, and the partnership has worked out well so far.

Options for support could include fundraising or charging a user’s fee, Daniels said.

“As far as I’m concerned, all ideas or ways to fund the project are on the table,” he said.

The Fiscal Year 2018 CIP had construction for the park beginning in spring 2019, a date Gill said he is still targeting.

Return of the Jedis

A few weeks ago, the Monitor got the chance to channel their inner Rey and partake in a Granite State Saber Academy class at NHTI.

The class, run by JD Lauriat, was a good time for anyone who likes swordplay, but it was unclear whether the Force would remain in Concord – Lauriat lost the space he used to teach his course the day the story debuted.

But fear not, Padawans – the Saber Academy has landed at the Concordia Lutheran Church at 211 N. Main St., according to the group’s Facebook page.

If watching Star Wars: The Last Jedi has you amped up to check out a class, they start at 7 p.m. Wednesday. The first class is free, then it’s $25 per class afterward.

Winter essentials

If you fell victim to the city during its winter maintenance parking ban last week, be sure to sign up for Parking Ban Alerts, which is part of the city’s Notify Me system. A link to the service can be found on the city’s website.

For those of you who need a little grit to get through the season, sand is available at the following places: The Abbott Road material storage site, the Transfer Station located on Old Turnpike Road, or the Wastewater Treatment Plant located at 125 Hall St.

(Caitlin Andrews can be reached at 369-3309, candrews@cmonitor.com or on Twitter at @ActualCAndrews.)