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Town park a growing success

Posted on Thursday, August 22, 2013 at 9:38 am

Brothers Quinn and Conner enjoyed a day at the park with nearly a dozen other youngsters last Friday.

Brothers Quinn and Conner enjoyed a day at the park with nearly a dozen other youngsters last Friday.

Given the recent success of the newly opened playground at the Warsaw Town Park, town officials have turned their attention to further park additions.

As council members and Town Manager John Slusser made clear a need for bathrooms in the town park, the possibility of including a pavilion is under consideration.

“If we’re going to build bathrooms, then the question is: should we build a building a little bit bigger to accommodate picnic tables, perhaps a kitchen and [be] something that would give shelter to people if they came up and wanted to have a picnic or birthday party, or some kind of event?” Slusser said.

“But we haven’t decided how big [the building would be],” he added. “We haven’t really decided anything about what our goal is with respect to what it is we’re trying to accomplish, other than a shelter.

“Does that mean it’s enclosed? Does it mean it’s open?” Slusser posed. “Is it big enough to accommodate big events, of is it just supposed to be something for family-type events?”

As a response to the questions he pointed out, Slusser said the town did not know at this point.

“We’re just brainstorming,” he noted.

At the Warsaw Town Council meeting held Aug. 8, Slusser said he had spoken informally with Northern Neck Technical Center Principal Trey Davis about involving the vocational school in a project related to the park.

Slusser did, however, acknowledge that since the town has yet to figure out what exactly will be built in the park, the town may or may not formulate or pursue plans to partner with the tech center.

“We’re trying to evaluate all of our other possibilities,” said Slusser, while adding that the tech center was responsible for building the picnic tables that were provided to the town park by the Warsaw-Richmond County Main Street Program.

“They’re being used quite a bit,” Slusser said of the tables. “I know there’s a role for the VoTech school.”

Councilmember Ogle Forrest expressed his enthusiasm over such a possibility.

“Trying to incorporate with the tech center and the departments over there is an excellent idea,” said Forrest. “It gives them a close project to work on. I think we need to proceed with that and see what we can do.”

Slusser said several individuals were eager to help the town pursue the next step in the process.

“I think we’ll see some pavilion of some kind, but I don’t know for right now,” said Slusser. “It’s important that when you’re dealing with a group, there are a lot of people who have an interest in this.

“The town doesn’t want to be unilateral and say, this is what we’re going to build next,” Slusser added.  “That’s not the way we’ve started this project. That’s not the way we will finish this project.”

Slusser said the process was one that aimed to incorporate the public’s ideas into the town’s plan, thereby giving the public what they wanted in the end.

On a related note, Slusser shared that everything he has observed about the park and playground has been positive.

“It’s been well-used,” said Slusser. “I’ve seen no litter to speak of, and there hasn’t been anybody that has abused the park or the equipment.”

Slusser added at the last council meeting that the public response to the playground has blown him away.

“I was there [Thursday, Aug. 8] at 11 a.m. and there were at least 20 kids,” said Slusser. “I knew there was a demand, that people wanted it, but I was not anticipating the amount of usage that it’s getting.”