During these extraordinary times, more and more Asheville-area residents are spending time in the great outdoors, often in public parks and recreational facilities. Today, the City of Asheville and Carolina Day School (CDS) announce two exciting initiatives that will positively impact the Asheville community: the purchase of land by the City of Asheville for a much-needed public park space, and the exploration of a partnership that will create opportunities for community use of the school’s athletic complex.
Land purchased for a new public park.
On September 27, the City of Asheville purchased a 10.88 acre tract of land owned by Carolina Day School adjacent to their athletic facilities at 2351 Sweeten Creek Road. The funding for this purchase comes from the 2016 general obligation bond approved by Asheville voters of which $2 million was allocated for park land acquisition and development in South Asheville. The purchase price of this property was $1,500,000. City Council approved conditions of purchase in closed session in March of this year.
This wooded and undeveloped site will add a park to south Asheville providing an open space for all residents of Asheville to enjoy. The addition of this park meets City Council’s goals from the 2009 Parks and Recreation Comprehensive Master Plan which identifies a lack of parks and recreation opportunities in this part of the city.
Future enhancements on the property will include walking trails, a parking area, and passive recreation amenities. Moderate hiking paths already exist as the park property connects up to the Blue Ridge Parkway.
“We are excited about the purchase of land for future passive park space in South Asheville,” said Asheville City Manager Debra Campbell. “There is also a wonderful opportunity to partner with Carolina Day School in a way that will positively impact the community by bringing Parks & Recreation programming into the area.”
A partnership for community use of the School’s athletic complex.
Asheville Parks & Recreation and Carolina Day School also announced that they are working on a new partnership that will allow for the use of the Sgro Athletic Complex to expand community recreational athletic programming. The fields within the complex are adjacent to the purchased parkland and would be used when Carolina Day athletics are not in session. This new opportunity for programmable space will allow the community to benefit from Carolina Day School’s plans to invest in improvements to the Sgro Athletic Complex playing fields. The investments will include conversion of grass field to turf to improve durability and improve play, and an investment in sports lighting for expanded use of the field.
“We want to be good citizens and are thrilled to be entering this partnership, offering space for our community for athletics and recreation,” said Stephanie Whitney, head of school for Carolina Day School. “Sgro Athletic Complex is an exceptional athletic facility, but it’s underutilized for much of the year. We want to maximize the property for the benefit of an area of the city that has been underserved by the existence of athletic fields, and in doing so, make a meaningful difference in the lives of our Asheville neighbors. Partnering with Asheville Parks & Recreation was a natural choice because of their proven track record of working with diverse communities throughout the City to provide equitable programming. We’re excited to be launching a partnership that will be so beneficial for everyone.”
As part of the partnership, Carolina Day and Asheville Parks & Recreation will develop a timeline for the Sgro Athletic Complex enhancements that will minimize disruption to the school’s athletic season and be mutually beneficial for the two organizations.
About Asheville Parks & Recreation
Asheville Parks & Recreation is committed to providing quality programs in a safe environment for everyone in our community. For more information about these and all Asheville Parks & Recreation programs, visit our website at www.ashevillenc.gov/parks, our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/APRCA or call 828-259-5800.
About Carolina Day School
Carolina Day School (CDS) is an independent, secular day school for grades PK–12 and includes the Key School, a national leader in providing a high-quality, innovative education for bright children with dyslexia. CDS is situated in the heart of George Vanderbilt’s lush forest, on land donated to the School by his descendants. The School’s academic campus is located at 1345 Hendersonville Road in Asheville, with the School’s Sgro Athletic Complex being located at 2351 Sweeten Creek Road in Asheville. For more visit carolinaday.org.