Park District: South
Census Tract: 22.01/22.02
Recent improvements to Jake Rusher Park in south Asheville will be complete with the installation of playable art in the late spring of 2022.
Becky Borlan, a Baltimore-based artist, has been selected by a review committee to design a playable art piece which will be placed in the park near the play structures. Becky’s artistic style uses color and light to remind us that play is essential to our growth and well-being.
This project is funded by the City’s 1% for public art commitment in which Capital Projects sets aside funds on constructed projects specifically for public art.
The community is invited to virtual meet and greet with Becky on Thursday, October 7 at 3:30 p.m. Becky will be giving a short presentation and will also listen and gather personal stories of park experiences from attendees. This input will help guide Becky as she begins conceptual designs for the playable art.
Meet the Artist for Jake Rusher Park Public Art – Agenda
Thursday, October 7 · 3:30 – 4:15pm
Can’t make the meeting? A recording will be available, or you can share your comments or memories of Jake Rusher park here.
Asheville voters made their choice clear when approving a bond referendum in November, 2016 to make improvements to the City’s parks and recreation facilities Upgrades and improvements to Jake Rusher Park were included in this funding.
A series of community meetings was held in 2017 to get input on 3 different design concepts for Jake Rusher Park. The information gathered at those meetings was used to develop a plan that was presented in additional community meetings held in May, 2018. Additional input from those meetings and from input gained online was used to develop the final concept plan.
A second round of community meetings regarding improvements and additions to Jake Rusher Park were held in May, 2018 at Jake Rusher Park and the Skyland Library. At these meetings, a park concept plan was presented and attendees had the opportunity to provide feedback. This input will help guide the final design and determine elements contained in this first phase of improvements, currently budgeted at $1 million. For those unable to attend, there was an opportunity to provide input online at Open City Hall.
At their February 11, 2020 meeting, Asheville City Council authorized the City Manager to move forward with a $975,274 construction contract with Carolina Specialties Construction for improvements to Jake Rusher Park. Improvements include new parking, accessible sidewalks, sport courts, a pavilion and restroom building, new landscaping, improved lighting. and relocation of utilities.
The park concept plan is shown below and the design consultant firm was ADC Engineering.
Construction began in Spring, 2020 and was completed in late Spring/early Summer, 2021.
Spring, 2017 – Spring, 2018: Planning
Spring, 2018 – Fall, 2019: Design
Spring, 2020: Construction begins
Spring, 2021: Project scheduled for completion
July 24, 2021 – Ribbon Cutting event