Just two years after breaking ground, the Lake Wylie recreation park is ready to play ball. York County, S.C., signed Woolpert and J.D. Goodrum to a progressive design-build contract for the 32-acre athletic complex on Crowders Creek in the Paddlers Cove subdivision. The $13.5 million Field Day Park at Lake Wylie celebrated its grand opening Oct. 31.
The park offers a wide range of sports and recreation amenities, including three multipurpose turf fields, three baseball/softball fields, pickleball courts, a building for concessions and restrooms, a community building, walking trails, shelters and a playground.
The multipurpose fields are synthetic and have an uninstructed pitch running east to west. This allows for easy setup of youth football and others sports for multiple layout arrangements of smaller fields for soccer, lacrosse, rugby, etc. The lighted baseball / softball fields have a synthetic infield with portable bases locations of 60, 65, 70, 80 and 90 foot. Two fields have 320-foot outfield distance and one has a 300-foot outfield fence. The outfields were sodded with athletic bermuda and are irrigated.
Woolpert provided park programming and comprehensive design services for the project that included architecture, MEP and civil engineering, and landscape architecture. J.D. Goodrum, which previously collaborated with Woolpert on the Sportsplex at Matthews, N.C., was the general contractor.
Woolpert Project Manager Katie Thayer said the traditional design-bid-build process would have added about a year to the project, due to the extended architecture and engineering selection and design process.
“Both J.D. Goodrum and Woolpert specialize in parks and recreation facilities, and the design-build process is not often applied to athletic complex projects such as this,” Thayer said. “But if you have a good partner, this process saves time and money and yields the same exceptional result. It is great to work with a county that trusted our experience and expertise and is willing to invest the time and effort to be part of the process. York County got everything they wanted, saved money and can more quickly begin generating income for the region with leagues and tournaments.”
York County Park Superintendent Jason Ratterree said the park will fill a needed niche in the region, offering desired amenities and catering to all age groups.
“The park has the unique distinction of having the first public, free and dedicated pickleball courts in the county. We have six right now with room for expansion,” said Ratterree. “Many people have been enjoying the courts, with at least four being used every day.”
Ratterree added that the community center is the focal point of the park. It can be rented out for events or meetings, can provide a place to hang out or can host programs like music events, once it is safe to do so.
“As we went through the design process with Woolpert and J.D. Goodrum, we were able to determine how we could achieve the goals we set out for the park—from the physical materials to the specific facilities that would address our community’s needs,” he said. “This collaborative process provided us with a recreation destination that will benefit people in the region for years to come.”