Davidson’s Parks and Rec Department looks to relocate
by Staff Writer
DAVIDSON – The Davidson Town board has approved funding to renovate the Pump House on South Street to be used as amenity space and new offices for the Parks & Recreation Department.
Dave Malushizky, an architect and illustrator with The Lawrence Group, presented the bids for building, utilities and site improvements. The lowest bid – $249,820, or about $157 per square foot – came from Heard Ratzlaff Construction in Charlotte.
Malushizky told the board that building offices at the Pump House would be a way to supplement the costs of leasing office space for Parks and Recreation offices, which costs the town about $50,000 per year. Half of the new building will be used as office spaces while the other half will be used for multi-use amenity space.
“If the Parks and Recreation office ever needs to move out of that building into a larger space,” Malushizky said, “the entire building could also be used as an amenity space. So, you’re really getting two buildings for the price of one.”
A majority of the costs of construction, according to Malushizky, will come from adding bathrooms to the building that can be used by people on the nearby greenway. The building will be designed so that restrooms could be open to the public after office hours, but closed when the park is closed.
Commissioner Rodney Graham raised doubt as to whether the property would be more valuable for alternative uses.
Town Manager Leamon Brice said, “a good portion of the property is on the flood plain and swim buffer and is also land- locked, so I don’t know what the value of that would be to someone.”
In response, Mayor John Woods added, “It’s probably more valuable to us than anyone else because it serves as a trailhead and trail connector eventually to our greenway system and provides a very cost-efficient way for us to house and staff our parks and recreation for the next five years rather than dumping $250,000 into leasing a property.”