The Wake Forest Board of Commissioners has hired an architect to design several new facilities at E. Carroll Joyner Park, including a community center, a playground and more parking.
The board unanimously voted Tuesday to hire Clark Nexsen, which has an office in Raleigh, to lead the $11.1 million project.
The move marks the beginning of the park’s second phase of development, funded by a $14 million parks and recreation bond approved by voters in 2014.
A community center will provide much-needed gymnasium space where residents can play basketball, volleyball and pickleball.
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“Hopefully this will help us get rid of the need to borrow courts from other places,” said Mickey Rochelle, facilities director for Wake Forest.
Clark Nexsen hopes to create a design that will also include a sprayground – a play area with water features – a roof over the existing amphitheater’s stage, a nature center and a new parking lot.
Wake Forest leaders chose Clark Nexsen from more than a dozen potential firms because the architects said they could include all the projects within a tight budget and had a plan to maximize space, Rochelle said.
“They were already looking at ways to get us more for our money,” he said.
The 117-acre park is located one mile east of Capital Boulevard and was the town’s largest park when it opened in 2009. Wake Forest bought the land, which was once a farm, from E. Carroll Joyner, who had owned the property since the early 1980s.
Restored farm buildings remain on the property and visitors come to the park from dawn to dusk to walk on three miles of paved hiking trails, fish off the banks of a pond and stroll through a depression-era pecan grove.
The first phase, which cost roughly $4.5 million, saw the creation of a 1,000-seat amphitheater, and the building of several gardens including one where small performances can be held.
Mayor Vivian Jones said the second phase of construction at Joyner has been a hot topic with the commissioners, and the board is excited to see new designs.
“I think it’s going to be a really big benefit to the community,” she said.
Chris Cioffi: 919-829-4802, @ReporterCioffi