At the Flaherty Park community center, everyone is always looking for more time on the schedule.
But between pickleball, basketball, volleyball and more there just aren’t enough hours in the day to accommodate all the requests, said Ruben Wall, director of parks, recreation and cultural resources for Wake Forest.
“We’ve got one center,” he said. “Right now we’re trying to cram everything in.”
Town officials want to build more community centers, courts and fields and launch more programs to keep pace with population growth.
To guide that development, the town will update its parks and recreation master plan through a six- to eight-month process that kicks off this week with focus groups and a public meeting. A random survey and more meetings are planned.
Wall urged residents to participate if they receive a survey and to make their preferences and ideas known.
“We really need the residents to be involved,” he said. “This is their master plan.”
The master plan was last updated in 2005, and the new version is expected to last until 2025. The plan doesn’t dictate which projects receive funding or how much, but it is a guide for officials.
Wall said town staff, along with consultants from Green Play LLC, will look carefully at the town’s population projections and the national standards for how many facilities should be available to meet the needs of that many people.
A top priority is a new multipurpose community center that can handle various activities simultaneously, Wall said.
Wake Forst could get a jumpstart on that effort this fall through a $25 million bond referendum that includes $14.2 million in parks and recreation projects. A community center at Joyner Park is high on the list of likely projects.
Parks officials also are in the midst of updating the master plan for Joyner Park.
Candace Davis, a town senior planner, said the interaction between greenways and parks also will be an important consideration in the plan.
Parks such as Flaherty and Joyner are important connection points for the greenways, so their development will affect how residents use the trails in the future, she said.
“We are definitely in the loop and will be a part of the process,” she said.