Bond project update: Playgrounds and sport courts under construction

Herb Watts Park on Erskine Avenue is a bond project currently under construction.

There will be lots of happy children and ball players in Asheville in the coming months. The renovation of playgrounds and sport courts were part of the $17 million Parks general obligation bond referendum that was approved by our community in 2016.


Starting now, you will see work in progress in Malvern Hills Park, Murphy-Oakley Park and Herb Watts Playground (pictured above under construction) with more to come in several more locations through the fall and winter.


Renovated playgrounds will feature newer, safer equipment and improved ADA accessibility. Herb Watts Playground on Erskine Street  is in process now and will be followed by Leah Chiles Park in Kenilworth. The Augusta Barnett Park in West Asheville will begin renovations in spring 2019 and will have features used in the Therapeutic Recreation Program.


Locations for playground upgrades were chosen based on the condition of the existing playground and the need for upgrades. The plans will utilize strategic site design opportunities to implement new amenities not provided in the original designs of the playgrounds.


Sport courts are also in progress. Tennis courts at Malvern Hills Park and tennis and basketball courts at Murphy-Oakley park are under construction and will be finished in September. The tennis and basketball courts at Montford Park will begin renovations in the fall.


Sport court lighting will also be added or upgraded with the courts. Lighting will be replaced at  Malvern Hills and Montford Park tennis courts. Montford Park basketball will have upgraded area lighting. At Murphy-Oakley Park, brand new lighting will be added for both the tennis and basketball courts.


Other new amenities will include benches, nets, basketball hoops, and upgraded fencing. At Montford Park, accessibility will be improved with a new path to the courts and to the restrooms.


The sport court projects have been prioritized with a focus on improvements in underserved areas of the city. The projects have been designed to improve level of service and meet contemporary needs of neighborhood residents.


All court projects should be completed by winter, weather permitting.