For the last four years, the old Green Street Pool has been left dry and empty, but the historic property could undergo changes by the end of the year.
Director of Parks and Recreation Melvin Cooper said the Parks and Recreation Board has approved the first phase of renovation of the site.
Deputy Director Michael Graham said improvements to the park could begin in the next six months.
“We’ve decided to take baby steps and take parts to at least try and make some improvements,” Graham said.
Some of those steps include demolishing the existing swimming pool and filling in the hole for more green space.
The existing building that was once the bathhouse for the pool is in need of repairs and will be reroofed in the initial phase.
Graham said that while funding isn’t yet available for the complete project, the initial phase will cost $28,250 and be paid for with impact fees.
The goal of the project, which could take some time to complete, is to redesign the property into a passive park with a sloping green lawn and places to picnic and tailgate.
“When funds become available, plans are to renovate the area as a passive park with a large community shelter for tailgating, company and community picnics with landscaping to enhance the site,” Cooper said.
Graham said the large corporate pavilion outlined in the conceptual design of the park could cost more than $100,000.
He said there isn’t a definite time line for completion, and it will depend on the economy.
Public meetings in 2007 gave residents a chance to discuss what they would like to see happen with the property. Some suggestions included a spray ground or a small splash park for children.
Graham said that idea could still be thrown into the mix, but at this point the costs need to be kept down.
“We feel like in this case, because of the location and everything, the more passive (park) is better for the area,” Graham said.
Graham said the park will be discussed at a meeting Tuesday. He said he hopes the project can be tied in with improvements to Wessell Park in Gainesville.
Wessell Park, he said, has needed some repairs to the tennis courts for a while.
The idea is to start the projects together and to bid them out together, he said. That should make it easier and less expensive to use left-over dirt and materials at either park, he added.
The city maintains the property monthly by keeping the lawns cut and pumping rain water from the pool. Graham said the annual cost to maintain the landscaping is just more than $6,000.