Ballantyne Park moves forward

With two new roundabouts planned to alleviate congestion on Community House Road, initial traffic concerns that accompanied the expansion of Ballantyne Community Park have disappeared, said project manager Lee Jones.

The phase three improvements to the park, a culmination of a more than 10-year agreement with the Morrison Family YMCA to develop the area, are currently “on schedule and on budget,” Jones said.

An official opening date has not been set because officials want to make sure the facility is completely finished before opening.

“We want to make sure the grass fields grow in well,” Jones said. He expects the park to host both a dedication ceremony sometime in October and a spring opening when the time for spring sports rolls around.

The expanded park, which is expected to cost about $2.2 million total, will feature four lit baseball/softball fields, along with a green play space away from the diamond, a free-standing picnic shelter and a restroom and storage facility.

Initially, residents of the nearby Cobblestone subdivision were concerned about what four new playing fields would mean for traffic turning out of their neighborhood. With the Charlotte Department of Transportation’s roundabout proposal and the finalization of plans on June 26, Jones feels confident any potential traffic issues have been solved.

“This is a win-win situation,” Jones said, adding Cobblestone residents will be able to turn left or right with ease thanks to the roundabout. “We’re very pleased with that.”

The Ballantyne Community Park was built on a partnership that began in 1999: the Morrison YMCA had funding to put toward developing land, and Mecklenburg County Parks and Recreation had the necessary land. Both sides are looking forward to continuing that partnership with the newly expanded park.

“We’re going to work closely with the Y to maintain the facility so it gets the most beneficial use by the community,” Jones said.

Jones expects the community to benefit from the new fields. Neighbors will be able to reserve space on the fields by contacting the YMCA or the parks department. However, “it’s very important to us that we have the majority of time for public use,” Jones said.

Improvements to Community House Road will start in the next few months. The first phase of the project, from Providence Road West south through the Ardrey Kell High School area, will be put out to bid soon. The second portion of the project, from Providence Road West to Bryant Farms Road, is waiting on some right of way purchases before work starts. That part of the project will include the two roundabouts – one at Cobblestone and the other at the corner of Community House and Bryant Farms roads. The expanded park will open before the two roundabouts are complete. An exact schedule for the roundabouts is not set.

For more information, visit www.thecharlotteweekly.com and search “Community House Road.”

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