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North Hall Park is almost ready
Tech center, recreational facilities will be available in April
The North Hall community center, library and park on Nopone Road is slated for completion by the end of this month. The 127-acre property has four, 225-foot baseball/softball fields, a full-sized track and a football/soccer field. - photo by SARA GUEVARA | The Times

The long-awaited North Hall Park is entering the home stretch of construction.

With the grand opening slated for sometime in April, the park is starting to take its final shape, and construction on the community center should wrap up by the end of the month. The technology center, however, likely will not go online until August.

According to Adrian Mixson, director of the Hall County Library System, one of the tech center's biggest issues will be staffing, especially since the department downsized last year.

"We have to figure out how to staff this thing," he said, adding that the center will act as a Public Information Network for Electronic Services hub.

The PINES program allows patrons to share books and other materials from more than 275 libraries throughout the state.

The center will house between 30 and 55 computers, an Apple computer lab, two more computer labs, a game room and both teenage and children areas. The entire building will be equipped with Wi-Fi.

Apart from the tech center, the building also will include two basketball courts, a fitness center, a multipurpose room, game room and aerobics room. Also gracing the 127-acre property - 46 of which is being used for fields and the community center - are four, 225-foot baseball and softball fields, a full-sized track and a field for football and soccer.

"We feel like the park is going to be heavily used, both the inside and outside facilities," said Mike Little, director of Hall County Parks and Leisure. "It's just going to be a fantastic facility."

The county budgeted around $14.3 million for the entire project, all of which is being funded by the special purpose local option sales tax.

"This particular park is a long time in the making," Little said. "The North Hall area has absolutely nothing in the area ... so the community is rallying around it and they're extremely excited."

The park is also home to more than 80 acres of undeveloped land, which, according to Little, will hopefully play host to a multipurpose trail. The parks department has applied for a grant through the Department of Natural Resources to cultivate the land into a trail used for mountain biking, hiking and running.

With baseball and softball season quickly approaching, the four ballfields should be ready to use by opening day.

The parks department will also make the new community center home to its administrative offices, helping with the challenge of staffing the facility.

"We're really, really excited, and I know the folks up in North Hall are, too,"
Little said.