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New plans set for Hide-Away Park

May 10, 2012

 

Outdated equipment like this sunbathing station have propelled plans to improve Hide-Away Park and its trails have be approved. –Photo by Sumeet Shrestha

REBECCA ALVAREZ
Staff Reporter

 

The Division of Student Affairs and the Lambright Sports and Wellness Complex recently proposed new plans to make additions to Hide-Away Park that will include new running and biking trails, sunbathing docks around the pond and a new pavilion with a canoe rental.

 

Administration will be applying for the grants to fund the project this summer and the projects could break ground as early as July 1 if enough funds are acquired.

 

Bobby Dowling, director of recreational activities, and Kevin Singh, an assistant architecture professor, brought the project before student affairs last Thursday and will present the project to Tech President Dan Reneau Tuesday.

 

“We are still in the planning stage,” Dowling said. “But it is something we are confident we can start soon if we can get the funding.”

 

The concepts and plans arose from designs submitted by Singh and two architecture students in a program called the Community Design Activism Center. The CDAC program gives two architecture students a chance to design concepts for campus improvements. The trio started the designs for Hide-Away Park during winter quarter, Singh said.

 

“Being able to enhance our campus is a great thing,” he said.

 

The project will add on to some of the features already at the park, and it will add some completely new attractions. The new attractions include sunbathing docks on the perimeter of the pond, a five mile cross country trail that will wind through the woods, a pavilion by the pond and a new parking lot for recreational vehicles. Designs also indicate that the current paved trail will be extended to go around the entire park to equal a three mile course. The trail will also lead out to Tech Drive and direct those using the trail to the Lambright.

 

The new pavilion would provide the park with restrooms and a place where students can rent canoes and other equipment to use throughout the park.

 

The idea for an RV parking lot came as a solution to the fact that such vehicles have no specific parking for tailgating, Dowling said.

 

James King, vice president for student affairs, said administration is applying for grants this summer to make the plans a reality.

 

“We are just so fortunate to live in a part of the country where we can enjoy the outdoors for 12 months out of the year,” he said. “We want to take advantage of that fact and provide what people need to enjoy it.”

 

Two of the grants administration hopes to receive funding will come from the Federal Highway Administration and the U.S. Department of Wildlife and Fisheries. Administration has applied for a grant with the Federal Highway Administration for $100,000. If approved, the grant would fund the construction of the trails throughout the park, Dowling said. He said they will be applying for the grant with Wildlife and Fisheries in the coming weeks, and that they are confident Tech will receive the grant from Wildlife and Fisheries because it is a new grant by the state giving the school high chances of receiving it.

 

If either of the two grants is received, construction on the park is expected to kick off as early as July 1, Singh said.

 

“They are still just concepts,” King said. “Hopefully we can soon make it happen.”

 

Because the project is still in development, King said the administration overseeing the project is open to suggestions. Students with suggestions can contact King by calling student affairs.

 

“This is going to be a whole new phase for outdoor recreation at Tech,” Dowling said. “Things are only going to get better as we move on.”

 

Email comments to rha14@latech.edu.

 

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