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County approves Berewick Park contract

The Mecklenburg Board of County Commissioners on Wednesday approved a construction contract with J.D. Goodrum Co. Inc. for the first phase of Berewick District Park along Dixie River Road, just outside Interstate 485 in southwest Charlotte.

J.D. Goodrum was one of three companies that bid on the project’s first phase, which will include two natural grass baseball/softball fields, a flat multipurpose field that can be used for soccer, lacrosse, rugby, football and other sports, as well as a restroom facility, a picnic shelter, a playground and a walking trail on nearly 11 acres. Each athletic field will have lighting and irrigation systems.

Rodney Fritz, project manager for the county’s Park and Recreation Department, said the next step would be to have a preconstruction meeting in order to get the ball rolling on construction at the beginning of next year. He said if construction begins by the middle of January, the first phase of the park should be done by late fall 2015.

But Fritz also pointed out that because the fields will be natural grass instead of artificial, the fields won’t be ready for use until a full year after completion.

berewick park.webThe other bids were submitted by Eagle Wood Inc. for about $1.4 million and Heard Ratzlaff Construction Inc., which submitted a bid that was about $20,000 more than Goodrum’s $1,256,600 bid.

Goodrum was the primary contractor for the construction of Romare-Bearden Park in Uptown Charlotte, which was completed about a year ago. But Fritz said the company will likely hire subcontractors to do the baseball/softball fields at Berewick Park.

He said the park would be a good resource for Berewick Elementary School, which is also on Dixie River Road, because its students don’t have any outdoor fields or facilities to use other than basketball goals and a walking track that’s connected to the bus parking lot.

The park’s master plan calls for six baseball/softball fields, seven flat fields, additional parking and a route for cars to get across the park. The master plan includes another restroom facility and a dog park as well, and Fritz said there’s a small piece of property south of Dixie River Road that could be used for a walking trail.

But he said the master plan could change depending on the availability of county finances in the future, and based on the community’s input moving forward.

“Hopefully within 12 months we’ll have a park built,” Fritz said.

The county’s approval of its deal with Goodrum comes just two weeks after developer Pappas Properties’ groundbreaking ceremony on its 92-acre Berewick Town Center, which is part of a 1,200-acre master-planned community along Steele Creek Road at Dixie River Road, about a mile south of Berewick Elementary.

The first phase of the town center will include a Walgreens, retail space, restaurants, a hotel and a Harris Teeter grocery story.

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