By Kim Guenther and Ellen Braun
Should Crozet Park grow its facilities to keep up with the growth of Crozet and Western Albemarle County? A new survey launched October 1 to run for six weeks has the specific goal of capturing input, ideas and insights from the community to steer the vision for a potential expansion of the Park’s aquatic and fitness center.
Almost three years ago the Park’s board of directors solicited input via online survey from the Crozet community and the county at large regarding ideas for new amenities at community-owned Claudius Crozet Park. From that input we triggered work on five significant capital improvements:
- Pavilion replacement destroyed by derecho winds in 2013 (complete),
- A fenced-in dog park (complete),
- new parking (complete),
- installation of a .75 mile, six-foot wide paved perimeter trail
- a pond-side amphitheater.
With the parking project completed (with only a few new trees left to plant), the perimeter trail to be completed this fall, and a pond-side amphitheater still to plan, we are well on our way to completing all five projects and, we’ve still managed to make additional improvements along the way.
This past summer, thanks to a generous anonymous donation, we were able to erect a beautiful new pool-side pavilion and another smaller pavilion in the dog park. We’ve also made significant capital improvements to the pool. Solid Arts and Crafts Festival results have enabled the park to pay-off the last of the pool dome bank loan in the same time span. The Park has never looked more beautiful thanks to all the many volunteers, donors and partners who have consistently made the Park a priority.
However, there’s one project yet to be tackled; we saved the biggest and boldest project for last. A consistent theme throughout the 2014 survey was the desire of many respondents to expand the existing aquatics and fitness facility. This idea is fully supported by the Park Board who recently voted to make this project a priority over the next three years. To put this into context with the larger Park, the potential expansion includes the main fitness building, the pool and surrounding storage sheds, the summer pool house and, the new open grassy area (now closed to traffic) extending from the summer pool entrance across to the playground. This footprint represents a significant amount of space to create something truly amazing that will serve current and future generations.
The first step in our planning is, again, to solicit input from the community, current members of the YMCA at Crozet Park, and residents throughout the County, especially those living in Western Albemarle County. As with the 2014 survey results, your input will directly guide our efforts. Please take a few minutes to share your ideas by filling out the survey at: www.surveymonkey.com/r/facility-expansion
It is inspiring that after almost 60 years of continuous operation, Crozet Park continues to grow and improve. Anyone who has leaned back in a lawn chair to watch fireworks, scrambled for a Peachtree fly ball or swum laps at dawn at the foot of fog-topped mountains knows our Park brings joy and quality of life to Crozet. Improvements bring in new users and new ideas, while staying true to the values of our town. We are lucky to have a park like this in the heart of our community, but we also have a tradition of giving effort, ideas and funds to support it. Please help us take this next big step by providing your feedback.