With an infusion of $1.5 million, Murrayville Park in North Hall could reopen in 2018 as a tennis complex after being shuttered for almost seven years.
The Hall County Board of Commissioners closed the park on Bark Camp Road off Thompson Bridge Road in unincorporated Murrayville after the recession took a multimillion-dollar bite out of county tax revenue, but with a rebounding economy — and a rebounding budget — the county is breathing new life into a few dormant parks.
In South Hall, Platt Park will be reopened by spring of this year if weather allows, according to county spokeswoman Katie Crumley.
In northwest Hall, Murrayville Park will be open by or before fall, Commissioners Billy Powell and Scott Gibbs hope. They both represent the Murrayville area.
Thompson Bridge Road divides the two districts, and the park sits in Powell’s district.
Powell said Monday that the county has been looking for land to build eight to 10 tennis courts in the Nopone Road area near the North Hall Community Center, but had been unable to find land within the county’s budget.
Commissioners and county staff found a compromise in Murrayville, where the county could build tennis courts that could be used by both Chestatee High School and North Hall High School.
At the same time, the county would “provide a service to an underserved group” in northwest Hall. The park had a concession stand, baseball field a couple of multiuse fields before it was closed.
“I think the baseball field for sure (will remain), and hopefully at least one multipurpose field will survive and get rejuvenated,” Powell said.
However, after more than half a decade being closed there’s a serious amount of work that needs to be done, according to Mike Little. The park “needs a total renovation, from new paving to restroom facilities,” Little said.
The project might also require more than the $1.5 million in special purpose local option sales tax money identified for it given the large amount of work needed to bring the park back online.
Powell said the county will look for grants for the project and potentially solicit donations from stakeholders who would use the new facilities.
Commissioners will vote on the first steps of the project — obligating the $1.5 million in SPLOST VII money — on Thursday.