Southside Park improvements estimated to cost $6 million

From staff reports

The Master Plan for Southside Park, which would include adding a new playground, pavilions, parking, half basketball court, and many other amenities, would have an estimated cost of $6 million, according to landscape design firm Wood + Partners, the City of Beaufort said in a news release Friday, May 13.

Consultants Kyle Theodore and Trey Griffin presented the plan to City Council at Work Session on May 10. The plan entails extensive regrading of a festival lawn that would be large enough for two soccer fields; a renovated dog park that would including new fencing, misting sprays, agility equipment and other features; a nine-hole disc golf course; a wetland habitat; additional restrooms; and new trails.

Southside Park, in the Mossy Oaks neighborhood, comprises 34 acres.

The most expensive item is the playground, which would include new parking, and is estimated at $1.6 million. The playground would have a woodland theme and would feature a structure for 2- to 5-year-olds, and one for 5- to 12-year-olds. It would include picnic tables and benches, and add parking for 41 spots. It would also include swings and spinners.

Ideally, the playground would have a poured-in-place rubberized surface under the fall zones of each piece of play equipment. The playground would be ADA-compliant.

The plan calls for a large event pavilion next to the festival lawn. It would house additional restrooms and six picnic tables. Smaller pavilions would be built in the dog park.

The plan also would involve a new entrance, new streetscapes, and extensive landscaping, and connecting walkways to Waddell Road and the Beaufort County tennis courts.

From a community survey conducted last year, a playground at Southside Park was the top priority, and council agreed on Tuesday that the playground and new entrance near it should be prioritized.

City Manager Bill Prokop said that the next step is to put out a request for proposals for engineering and playground design, as the City determines how the improvements to the park will be financed.

The plan takes into account all the amenities proposed by the Southside Park Task Force, which was appointed by City Council in 2021 to solicit public input and present that information to City Council. In late January of this year, City Council selected Woods + Partners to develop a master plan.

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