INDIAN TRAIL – Design management firm Woolpert has been picked by Indian Trail leaders to manage the development of the new Sardis Park – a project that could become a key economic driver for the growing town.
While Sardis Park will include a playground, dog park, disc golf course and walking and biking trails, it also eventually will be home to a number of sports fields – something town leaders have said could one day draw in regional baseball and softball tournaments and the tourism dollars that come with that.
Voters in Indian Trail approved a park and recreation bond referendum in November 2012 for $8.5 million. The money will go toward the development of two parks – the 147-acre Sardis Park near South Fork Crooked Creek, north of U.S. 74; and the 51-acre Chestnut Park that will straddle Matthews-Indian Trail Road. While Woolpert will manage the Sardis Park project, no project manager has been named yet for Chestnut Park, which may include the town’s government center.
Woolpert was selected by Indian Trail leaders in part for the company’s successful track record with parks similar to what the town wants to do at Sardis Park. Woolpert worked on the Manchester Meadows soccer complex in Rock Hill, S.C., and the Jack D. Hughes Park in Pineville. The company also is attached to the upgrade project for Charlotte’s Freedom Park.
“It’s reassuring to me knowing that we have Woolpert at the helm as the project manager for Sardis Park,” said Indian Trail council member Chris King, one of the town’s leading advocates for the two parks.
Both parks could become an important tool in reshaping the town’s tax base. Indian Trail currently gets the majority of its tax revenue from personal property taxes, while town leaders would like to see that burden shift more in the direction of commercial property taxes. If businesses like hotels and restaurants spring up around the two parks in order to take advantage of the fields at Sardis Park and the Carolina Courts sports complex at Chestnut Park, the two projects could dramatically alter Indian Trail’s tax base.
Construction on Sardis Park will take place in two phases. The first will include constructing an entrance and parking lot, as well as the playground, dog park, disc golf course and trails. While construction is taking place there, design will start on the athletic fields, as well as a fishing area and any other additions town leaders and Woolpert come up with.
“When I say I want Sardis Park to be the preeminent park in Union County, I mean it,” King said. “Woolpert will meet that expectation. When the gates open, hopefully by this summer, Indian Trail will be the new home to the safest, most family oriented and eco-friendly park in the area.”