Thanks to funding from impact fees derived from new development, the Pickerington Parks and Recreation Department has budgeted several big ticket capital improvement projects for 2014.
Expenditures have been allocated from the 2014 Park Impact Fee Fund for five projects slated on the horizon, one of which has already started the construction phase.
A shelter complete with both men's and women's restrooms is currently in the process of being built at the city's disc golf course in Simsbury Park off state Route 256 on the city's east side.
Pickerington Parks and Recreation Director Rebecca Medinger said the $75,000 project should be completed in the spring or summer. Eversole Builders is the main contractor on the project.
"After the structure is complete, we will have to furnish it and run electrical, water and sewer for it to be completed," Medinger said.
The shelter will enhance the visitor experience of the city's popular, and free, 37-acre disc golf course.
"It will be nice for people, especially for the tournaments," said Carol Carter, a member of the city's Parks and Recreation Board.
"That's what started this whole thing. We didn't know it was so big until we started doing our research. I like to go watch it, some of those (players) are really good."
Medinger said the disc golf shelter will also be available for rent in the future for gatherings and picnics throughout the year.
In addition to the disc golf course improvements, two other pavilions are scheduled for construction by late fall 2014.
Shelters with restrooms will be built at the Diley Road ballfields and at Willow Pond Park, both at a projected cost of $94,000 each.
"Shelters are important to offer additional spaces for the community to enjoy throughout all of our parks for shade, gatherings and entertainment," Medinger said.
A fourth project, also scheduled to be completed by late fall, will be the conversion of the tennis courts in Victory Park to basketball courts at a cost of $26,500.
"Additional basketball courts will solve the need for more than one court in the parks.
This will also bring more people into Sycamore Park to use the great tennis courts we have to offer there," Medinger said.
Sycamore Park's parking lot will be expanded as well at a projected cost of $28,000.
"More people in the parks results in needing additional parking throughout," Medinger said.
Also on the horizon is the walking path design and construction for both Sycamore Park and Victory Park, a project which will include connecting the two parks.
The city applied for an Ohio Natural Resources Grant to help pay for the estimated $250,000 project. If the city of Pickerington obtains the grant, the state could pick up to 80 percent of the tab.
"Connecting one park to the other safely is a goal we've been trying to reach for years, Medinger said
"Also, connecting the bike path loop within the same park will benefit many who use the paths for walking, running and taking their dogs out," she said.
The timeline for that project "will be ongoing over the course of a few years," Medinger said.