Atkinson Park takes shape

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, January 29, 2008

FRANKLIN—A lot, acquired by the city after the Hurricane Floyd flood of 1999, is well on the way to becoming a serene place for people to gather.

Atkinson Park, named in honor of former town manager, first director of public works and town engineer Harold Atkinson, has a projected completion in mid-spring, according to Phil Sherman, deputy code official with the city, who is acting as construction manager of the project.

The Franklin City Beautification Commission, including Chairwoman Nancy Brewbaker and Secretary Donald Goodwin, has been working with Sherman and the city’s public works and

electric departments on the project.

A picnic pavilion has already been erected on the property across from City Hall where Burgess & Co. was located prior to the flood. Site improvements have also been made to the area.

According to Sherman, a laminated wood pergola will be erected at the front of the park.

“That is in the process of being manufactured,” he said. “It is supposed to be shipped early to mid-February.”

The city has contracted with Site Concepts of Chesapeake. Enwood Structures of Morrisville, N.C., is manufacturing the pergola, as it did the picnic pavilion, and Mid Eastern Construction of Chesapeake will handle the installation.

According to Brewbaker, the cost of the project is approximately $94,000.

“The Camp Foundation has given $60,000 toward the project,” she said. “The Beautification Commission will need to raise the rest of the funds.”

The commission has recently completed an informative brochure that highlights Atkinson’s contributions to the city and what levels of donations are available.

“There will be a bronze plaque for contributors of $500 or above,” she said, whether individual or corporate.” Donations are tax-deductible.

“We hope a lot of people at City Hall will take advantage of it,” she said. “It will be open for everyone to use.”

Picnic tables will be shaded by the pavilion. There will be approximately 1,800 square feet of brick paved area around a green space, with crepe myrtles, shrubs and perennials planted along the sides.

“It will be pretty, but it will also be functional,” said Brewbaker. “I can see it being used for events like small weddings.”

While the brick is being installed now, Sherman said, the following step will be getting the bids out for the landscaping, sodding and irrigation.

A contest was held to name the park in April 2003. Charles Butler’s suggestion was selected out of 88 entries.

Donations may be mailed to City of Franklin/Atkinson Park, Attn: Beautification Commission, P.O. Box 179, Franklin, VA 23851.