At least one park in New Scotland could be getting a makeover as town officials look to boost recreational opportunities offered.
Town Board members on Wednesday, Aug. 27, selected Barton & Loguidice to evaluate the Stephen P. Wallace Park for potential improvements and enhancements across its 68.5 acres. The park, commonly known as Swift Road Park, will have a plan and sketches drafted to detail possible options for the space. The fee and scope for the work will be negotiated.
Initially, the town only looked at Swift Road, but shifted towards evaluating all town-owned recreational spaces.
“It’s really an open scope as to specifics of what we can look at, but we can include what we feel is necessary,” said Board member William Hennessy.
Donald Fletcher, vice president of B&L, said in a letter to the town the project is similar to several other feasibility studies it has done. Recent projects the company has completed in Albany County include Hudson Shores Park in the Town of Bethlehem and Falls View Park in the City of Cohoes.
“This park is a valuable asset to residents in the town, offering a place for kids and adults to play baseball, basketball, tennis and soccer, and hosting summer programs and events,” Fletcher said in his letter.
Under the original scope focusing on Swift Road, the town had sought to complete the study before the end of the year.
The town issued a request for an expression of interest from the town’s two consultants, which are B&L and Stantec Consulting Services. Some board members thought B&L would bring a new perspective to park improvements. Stantec had prepared the town’s Recreation Master Plan Study in 2001.
“I think we’ve been presented with two good proposals,” board member Patricia Snyder said. “I’d like to move forward with the proposal from Barton & Loguidice. I think we have an opportunity to maybe get some fresh eyes and some new ideas as to how we can move forward with better utilization to our recreation areas.”
Board member William Hennessy said he visited the park recently with Town Supervisor Tom Dolin and Highway Superintendent Kenneth Guyer to look at potential improvements for it. Hennessy said the three then determined pursue a formal planning process would be appropriate for the project.
Ted Kolankowski, senior project landscape architect for B&L, will serve as New Scotland’s primary contact for the project. Kolankowski has 27 years of experience working on parks, playing fields and trails, along with municipal planning and transportation related designs.
In Stantec’s letter of interest to the town, Senior Principal Mark Dempf pointed out several improvements were recommended and some have already been implemented. Dempf said recent talks have focused on improving the maintenance facilities pavilion and restroom, with the possibility of relocating these to enact a new vision for the park.
Hennessy said grant funding could possibly be secured for expanding the focus to study other recreational areas in town.