Brookhaven, GA, May 11, 2016 – by Trey Benton – Brookhaven Parks and Recreation Director Brian Borden told Councilmembers Tuesday, the City’s decision to sell the existing Skyland Park to the DeKalb County Board of Education for the construction of a new elementary school, has led to a ‘scaled down’ version of the original Skyland Park plan.
Going down in acreage from a little over 10 acres to almost 5 acres, Borden said less the tennis courts, the City’s Parks consultant, GreenbergFarrow, has been able to incorporate the amenities from the existing plan to the new Skyland Park plan.
Borden explained the new park will have nature trails, a large and small dog park, multi-use field, playgrounds, dedicated parking, picnic shelters and real restrooms. “We’ve managed to, with the help of our consultant, to get everything we wanted in our original master plan in to this smaller, downsized version,” he said.
Optimistic that this new park will be one of the first implementations of the City’s park improvement initiatives, Borden said he is hopeful by mid 2017 it will be complete – as well as several of Brookhaven’s other parks.
City Attorney Chris Balch added the agreement with the DeKalb Board of Education states the construction on the new park will be completed “before dirt is turned on the new school so we will not lose park time, assuming we can meet all of our construction deadlines.” He said the City will go from having the old Skyland Park to the new Skyland Park before the school system starts construction on the new school.
Of the $4.7 million Brookhaven will receive for the existing Skyland Park, roughly $2.3 million will be spent on demolishing Skyland Center and building a brand new park on that property, in accordance with the City’s Parks and Recreation Master Plan. The remaining $2.4 will be spent on greenspace and park acquisition in other areas of the City.
According to the City, the new park space will be accessible to park-goers during regularly posted park hours. The land and the parking adjacent to the school will be available to residents after school hours. Additionally, the City says it will own the parkland and be an official City of Brookhaven park.