Gulley Park splash pad and new playground back on schedule in east Fayetteville

(City of Fayetteville)

A six-year-old plan to add a splash pad in east Fayetteville is back on schedule.

The City Council next week will consider a pair of contracts worth $1.3 million for the construction of a splash pad, a new playground, a pavilion and several other improvements at Gulley Park.

The work was set to begin in 2020, but was put on hold due to the pandemic.

The project is part of a series of improvements that has already brought a new parking lot and renovated restrooms, and could eventually include several other amenities, like a dog park and a renovated pond area.

The plan calls for removing the existing playground equipment along with several benches and asphalt sidewalks. The conceptual drawings also show a bag toss area, chess tables and ping pong tables. Playground equipment includes possible slides, merry-go-rounds, see-saws, spinners and more. The splash pad would sit just north of the new playground.

The first contract is with Minnesota-based Landscape Structures, Inc. and includes $734,937 for the playground and splash pad. The second contract, worth $595,059 for a pavilion and other improvements, is with Poligon of Porter Corp in Michigan.

Funding for the project comes from $722,325 in HMR tax money and $387,671 in park land dedication fees.
Officials also plan to use $220,000 that was awarded to the city from the state department’s Outdoor Recreation Grants Program.

Since the work has already been approved, the contracts are included on the consent portion of the Feb. 7 City Council meeting, meaning they won’t include further discussion unless a council member objects.

If approved, work will likely begin this spring and could be wrapped up by the end of the year.

Gulley Park is the second most visited park in Fayetteville behind Wilson Park, according to staff documents.

The city in 2016 began work on a master plan for the park that included the splash pad and new playground equipment, along with ideas for improvements to the existing pond, installing a dog park on the east side of the park across from the Apple Seeds teaching farm, as well as updates to the parking and restroom facilities.

The city’s first splash pad opened in 2019 at Walker Park in south Fayetteville.

Playground improvements conceptual outline (City of Fayetteville)
Preliminary conceptual plan (City of Fayetteville)