Back in the summer of 2016, I had reached out to residents in Pine Forest regarding their top priorities for improvements in the vicinity of the school and park. We had available funds left over from a prior grant and project that were to be re-purposed in the community. The top priority was to acquire lot for sale at corner of Grant and Gattis because it was on the market and connected the park to the Community Center. If redeveloped as a residence, we would lose the opportunity and that acquisition closed last year.
All agreed, the next highest priorities were a number of sidewalks and crosswalks to permit safer routes to the school, park and community center. The list included:
- New sidewalk along north side of Gattis from Grant to Hamlin
- Crosswalk across Grant north side of Gattis to provide access between community center and park (intersection location- not midblock- just stripe and sign)
- Sidewalk on east side of Grant from Gattis to Emerson
- Crosswalk across Grant at Sessions to provide access to school (intersection location- not midblock- just stripe and sign)
- Continue sidewalk on west side of Grant from Sessions South to Jernigan if funds allow.
That project was designed, bid and is underway. To date, 800 feet of sidewalk have been constructed along Gattis (including the necessary culverts and drainage work), and substantial completion of the entire project is scheduled on or before 6/7/18.
Once we finish that project and know what funding remains we can continue with adding amenities to the newly acquired corner lot. Top on the list is a walking loop trail for seniors with shade and benches. I am hopeful we can complete the walking path and planting by early fall.
Eventually, we would like to add the small pavilion (approximately 50,000) depicted on the rendering but we hope to find a donor to sponsor that element.