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Work To Begin In Near Future On Improvements At Area Park

Improvements will begin soon at Bethlehem Park, as a result of the Alexander County Board of Commissioners approving bids at their most recent meeting, which was held Monday (February 5).

County Manager Shane Fox said the total project cost is $2,355,000, which includes $1,295,000 for construction, being done by Lail Builders, Inc., $510,000 for lighting, to be installed by Camp Electric, $280,000 for a new playground, being constructed by Carolina Parks and Play, and $270,000 for engineering to be provided by West Consultants, and contingency. He said the project will be funded by $750,000 of state-appropriated money and $1,605,000 of article 44 sales tax money, with no local general fund tax dollars used.

County Manager Fox said the project will include a new restroom/concession/picnic building, a new playground, resurfacing of two tennis courts, conversion of two tennis courts to eight pickleball courts, two half-court basketball play areas, new lighting with steel poles and LED lights, conversion of the large baseball field to a soccer field, new baseball/softball batting cages, new ADA sidewalks and entry, parking lot resurfacing, drainage improvements, and more.

The current building at Bethlehem Park is 36×24 feet, while the new structure will be 96×30 feet with double the number of restrooms, two dining areas, a new kitchen area, two serving windows, and picnic areas on both sides. The new playground will replace the existing play area, with areas for ages 0-5 and ages 5-12, including swings, slides, sensory areas, nature features, and more. The playground will have a 20-year warranty. Bethlehem Park, which is approximately 13 acres, has been operated by Alexander County since the 1970s. The last major update was done on the shelter and playground in the 1990s. The new project should take 240 days to complete.

[Story courtesy of Rick Gilbert, WACB]