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Grand opening for new Davie park set for May 9

By Jim Buice
For the Clemmons Courier

When Bermuda Run Mayor Rick Cross discussed getting the word out about the anticipated official opening of the new state-of-the-art Davie County Community Park, he talked about the town’s convenient location between Winston-Salem and Mocksville.

“It seems like a long way to go to Mocksville, but it’s really not,” Cross said at last Tuesday night’s Bermuda Run Town Council meeting. “We’re right next to WinMock, and it’s named because it’s halfway between Winston-Salem and Mocksville. I don’t think anything about going east into Winston-Salem, and we need to create that draw and going over to Mocksville for this is another asset we have in our community. It’s more than a park.”

As Paul Moore, director of Davie County Parks & Recreation, told those assembled at town hall in his presentation on the centerpiece of the county’s recreation plan, “There’s something for everybody to do there.”

On a night that was light on business agenda items, Moore was invited to give an overview and update on the project in which county residents approved $5 million in a 2014 bond referendum for a park they helped shape. Additional grants of more than $400,000 were awarded in 2019 to supplement Phase I construction.

“At the ribbon cutting, eight of the 10 Phase I elements that you — the residents in the county — wanted to see are being included,” Moore said of the May 9 grand opening at the new park, which is located at the former site of Davie County High School. “Why is this so important? This county has never had a park system. You’ve had Rich Park for years but never a park system, never a greenway system. We’re here to move the county forward into the 21st century.”

For starters, the old high school football stadium now has a turf field and is currently being used in partnership with Twin City Youth Soccer, and it also has created multiple recreational opportunities.

Then there’s the 7,350-square-foot Vortex splash pad, which is the largest one of its kind in the state.

Other highlights include:

• an amphitheater that Moore called “one of a kind” that is fully functional and could host the county’s summer concerts series in the future;

• an inclusive playground conducive for all levels and abilities with multi-sensory interactive systems;

• a new interior look for the main gym, retaining bleachers on one side, with volleyball, basketball and three pickleball courts (two additional pickleball courts will be located in the auxiliary gym);

• new refitted restroom facilities where the rest of the building can remain locked while restrooms are unlocked during events;

• and a 310-foot multi-versatile ballfield where baseball and softball can played with a portable pitching mound of 30, 60 and 90 feet.

There will also be shelters, a dog park, walkways and trails, horseshoe pits, bocce ball courts, a civic green area and a multi-use area.

Moore said that Davie was fortunate to have passed a recreation bond based on property tax.

“Nine-point-nine out of 10 recreation bonds are done on sales or some type of hospitality/utility tax, never on property tax,” he said. “Every single homeowner in the county has paid for this park.”

In addition to the new park, Moore addressed the advancing greenway network in the county and Bermuda Run, and the importance of aligning both of the plans.

“Creating a plan like this is all about mapping connections,” he said. “You’re getting started with that in Bermuda Run with your Phase I plan, so we want to make sure our plan aligns with what plans you have — that there’s sort of a countywide brand.”

Town Manager Lee Rollins added that he had just attended a regional county meeting that tied in with this discussion.

“There’s a Yadkin Valley Regional Bike Plan that is currently under draft with NCDOT and the Piedmont Triad Regional Council that includes six counties of which Davie is one,” Rollins said. “I wanted to let you know that Bermuda Run, Clemmons, Lewisville and Mocksville are a very important part of that plan, and again it all aligns with what Mr. Moore has put out.”

In other business, the council:

• Approved a proposed text amendment to clarify that the underlying zoning district shall dictate uses rather than an overlay district, essentially correcting an oversight when the ordinance was amended.

• Appointed alternate member Tom Brady to fill the unexpired term of Ken Peacock on the Planning Board after Peacock was recently appointed to the town council; and then appointed Erin Hege to fill Brady’s unexpired term as an alternate member of the Planning Board.

• Heard from Cross about talking with NCDOT engineer Pat Ivey recently and learning that the I-40 widening project through Bermuda Run is about 56% complete and projected for completion in January 2021. Cross said that the town is looking into any short-term solutions to help with the traffic at the U.S. 158/N.C. 801 intersection, including striping the road, and that the eventual lengthening of the I-40 eastbound on-ramp at N.C. 801 and completion of the widening project will take some traffic off of U.S. 158.