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Fitness trail and extension of the Lick Run Greenway should be finished by the fall.
Thursday, February 21, 2013
Construction may begin as early as this spring on a greenway and fitness trail at the former Countryside golf course, Roanoke parks and greenways planner Donnie Underwood said Wednesday.
The project also would include a community playground, a picnic pavilion and 18 parking spaces.
The city is currently soliciting bids for the work, for which it has a construction budget of $1.2 million.
The half-mile greenway would be the third phase of the Lick Run Greenway , part of the effort that will eventually link Countryside to that greenway’s current end point, Underwood said.
In addition, the work includes a looped fitness trail that will be about three-quarters of a mile long, with exercise stations, including outdoor elliptical trainers.
“If somebody wants to jog and visit every fitness station, their heart rate will be pumping pretty well” after one loop, Underwood said.
He said that if contract negotiations go smoothly and the weather holds up, he hopes to have the trails, playground and picnic pavilion in place this fall.
Meanwhile, city officials are talking with Roanoke Valley Youth Soccer about its proposal to create two or three soccer fields next to William Fleming High School, as well as two full fields and a practice field near Portland Avenue , said Chris Chittum , the city’s director of planning, building and development.
Officials are also negotiating with Northwest/Wilmont Recreation Club , which wants to use the former golf course’s old tennis building as an indoor recreation center.
In addition, businessman Robbie Hebert has filed a letter of interest in the barn and silo site in the central part of the property, where he wants to build a sports center featuring batting cages, speed training and fitness equipment.
“The area seems to be becoming a center for recreation,” Chittum said, adding that proximity to the high school and its facilities is an asset.
He said the soccer association’s leaders hope the fields could bring tournaments to the area, with hundreds of kids and parents needing hotel rooms and spending money at area restaurants and attractions.
Over the longer run, Chittum said, the recreation facilities at Countryside should h- elp bring more residential and commercial development, in line with the city’s master plan for the property.
The city purchased the Countryside Golf Course property in November 2005. The golf course was closed in winter 2010.
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