County advances plans to convert wastewater facility into park

Published March 7 2018
Updated March 9 2018

CARROLLWOOD ó With the construction for Phase I of the Carrollwood Community Park starting next month, local residents attended an open house at the Carrollwood Cultural Center on Tuesday to learn about the plans for the new 50-acre park including its amenities and design.

The park will replace the recently retired Dale Mabry Wastewater Treatment Plant at 13055 Delwood Road with construction slated to run from April to December. The project will require some off-site work including the restriping of West Village Drive in order to provide a new turn lane for the park entrance as well as a deceleration lane and a multi-use trail.

A representative from Commissioner Ken Haganís office shared a brief video presentation with a breakdown of Phase I for the Carrollwood Community Park. He said that the commissionerís office considers the park to be a "community asset and something that will improve the state of living in Carrollwood."

Some residents shared concerns for the added traffic that the park will bring to the area, both when it opens and during the development stages. According to officials, efforts will be made in order to keep the disruption of the new construction to a minimum. This will include the use of the parkís North and South entrances during the construction.

Eliza Vega, resident and mother of three, shared her excitement for the project stating that "while a park like this would have been amazing for my kids when they were younger, Iím glad that my granddaughter will have this one to enjoy."

Park amenities will include two secured entrances, a splash pad, playground, picnic shelters, pond, dog park, indoor community space, walking trails, open green spaces, restrooms, and possibly a Hillsborough County Sheriff Office 24-hour training facility.

Even though the park will be featuring amenities geared towards children, like the splash pad and playground, the team behind it says that they hope to include many more perks and activities for residents of all ages.

"Our goal is to have a little bit of everything for everyone to enjoy," said Kyla Booher, Planning and Development Manager for Hillsborough County Parks and Recreation. The addition of a skate park and a nature center, with weekly classes for all ages, are also in the works for the park.

While specific design elements for the park are still being finalized, the goal for the parkís playground is to make it unique as well as challenging for children.

"We think that children should learn to take risks, or else they wonít take risks as adults," said Bill DeMare, resident and Officer of the Carrollwood Park Conservancy.

The Carrollwood Park Conservancy, a local non-profit heavily involved with the project, shares in that philosophy.

"We have a tendency when we build parks to forget about the teenagers and young adult," DeMare said. "Letís have something for everyone.

Contact Jennifer Lima at [email protected]