16: Memorial Park Improvements Project

Issues this project will address:

  • The primary focus of Memorial Park improvements is to replace failed stormwater structures, now hindering the park's ability to function. Increase in development around the park has increased its stormwater flow and overloading the pond's capacity. 
    • The pond and forebay require dredging, re‐engineering, and significant repairs to prevent failure of these stormwater mitigation components. 
    • The ancillary stormwater pipes, inlets, basins, and other features are either silted in, washed out, or completely failed and will need to be partially or entirely replaced. 
    • Without this project, Memorial Park faces further failure of stormwater infrastructure which will impact the park and surrounding neighborhoods.
  • Another improvement consideration is the redevelopment of vehicular and pedestrian circulation throughout the park. Related projects would:
    • enhance pedestrian safety
    • improve ADA access to park amenities
    • provide additional parking opportunities
    • improve the stormwater systems associated with park drives
    • improve access for school buses
  • As the budget allows, certain existing park amenities (benches, picnic tables, waste receptacles) will be upgraded to reflect Leisure Services' current amenity standards.

Project budget: ~$5.8 million 

This amount is not enough to address all site issues discussed in the July 2022 public engagement initiative. It will support specific projects as approved by the Mayor and Commission. Costs have been estimated to include design, permitting, construction, and contingencies have also been included for unforeseen project conditions.

Upcoming Events:

  • Public input from August 2 – September 3, 2023 for the Memorial Park Pondside Drive and the Pond and Forebay Improvements Design
  • In-person public input meeting will be held on August 12 – 9:00 to 11:30 AM at Memorial Park Picnic Shelter #2 & Bear Hollow Zoo
  • Mayor and Commission will consider schematic design recommendations at the October 17 (Agenda Setting) & November 7 (Regular Session Voting) meetings

Project History:

  • December 2021 - The Memorial Park Improvements Project User Group is formed and familiarized with relevant background materials, including hydrology reports for the Memorial Park pond and forebay and  ACC's 2018 Memorial Park Master Plan.
  • February 2022 - ACC Leisure Services staff provides the User Group with a comprehensive list of site issues that might be addressed by the project.
  • March 2022 - User Group reviews and organizes this list of 54 site issues into four main project categories: 
    • 1) Forebay and Lake Improvements
    • 2) Pedestrian Safety and Circulation Improvements
    • 3) Vehicular Circulation and Parking Improvements
    • 4) Playground and Picnic Shelter Improvements. They score the individual site issues and overall project categories by priority to narrow the list to what may be covered within the funding limits of the project.
  • June - July 2022 - User Group and Leisure Services staff conduct first public engagement initiative to gain input from residents and park patrons regarding what, where, and how to best utilize funding within the parameters of the project.
  • July 2022 - User Group analyzes feedback results from 115 residents and park-goers. The individual projects and overall project categories are re-scored based on this feedback. Addressing failed stormwater structures remains highest priority.
  • November 2022 - During Mayor and Commission Work Session, a commissioner requests the User Group investigate the feasibility of converting the existing pondside loop drive into a two-way drive with turn-around in order to address both erosion issues and pedestrian-vehicular conflict along the section leading to the pond.
  • February 2023 - User Group finalizes a revised Proposed Project Concept, now including a two-way design option for the pondside drive.
  • April 2023 - Mayor and Commission approve the revised Proposed Project Concept and authorize staff to advance the highest priority project items to the schematic design phase.
  • August 2023 - User Group and Leisure Services staff conduct second public engagement initiative to gain input from residents and park patrons regarding the two pondside drive design options.

Project Statement

This project will provide funding for the redevelopment/renovation of areas within Memorial Park. Depending upon costs and funding availability, these areas may include, but not be limited to, the dog park area, playground, picnic shelter(s), trails, renovation of restrooms to comply with ADA standards, other park elements as may be needed, and general infrastructure, such as improvements to stormwater facilities which may include design and construction of items such as dredging and enlarging the lake's forebay, increasing the capacity of the forebay's spillway, draining and dredging the lake, removing the island, restoration of the lake's edge habitat, dam repairs, reconstruction of the dam's emergency spillway, and replacement of ancillary stormwater infrastructure including, but not limited to, drainage swales, culverts, catch basins, retaining walls, curb and gutter, or any other required elements as specified by engineers. Additionally, to the extent allowed by law, funds may be used as matching funds for leveraging grant opportunities.

Estimated Cost:  
SPLOST 2020 Budget
Estimated Annual Operating Impact