A proposal for a memorial playground and outdoor amphitheater on property next to the is gaining community and governmental support.
The , a nine-person task force appointed by in , recently completed a report detailing the proposal. Marks released the 12-page report on Wednesday afternoon.
The anticipated lot of public property next to the library is the result of a land-swap deal between the county and housing developer Chesapeake Realty Partners—the same company that created the Honeygo Boulevard shopping center .
A community of 50 new single-family homes, known as , is planned for a 25-acre lot of forest and farmland between Cross Road and the Perry Hall Library along Honeygo Boulevard.
Directly adjacent to the library, the developer has agreed to turn 2.3 acres over to the county for public use. The agreement is pending the development's progress and completion, company officials explained during a public meeting in .
Following the meeting, use of the property became a major source of among community members, with suggestions ranging from a public pool to a new senior center.
Business owner , a member of the , was a proponent of using the property for an that has been planned by the for several years.
The lot's size, however, would not accommodate that type of structure, according to the report.
"You work with what's available," Paulshock said. "An all-purpose gymnasium has been needed in Perry Hall for the past 30 years, so another committee will need to be formed ... we believe there are some other locations in the Perry Hall area where we could build something like that."
Ultimately, the committee, chaired by former 10-year county planning board member , recommended the space be used for both a memorial playground and an outdoor amphitheater. The report also calls for the creation of a separate committee to help design and plan the all-purpose gymnasium in another area of Perry Hall.
Paulshock said he was won over by the idea that the playground would be an "Angel's Park" where residents could memorialize family members who have passed away, similar to in Fallston.
"The park wouldn't be dedicated to just one person, but to everyone who has lost loved ones," Paulshock said.
The report estimates the cost of the playground at $300,000-$350,000, paid for almost entirely by donations and sponsorships. Paulshock, however, said it could cost as little as $40,000.
Hoover said an outdoor amphitheater would add a "destination" element to the space without detracting from the feeling of "open space."
The report includes the following description: "Envision listening to a band concert on a warm summer evening with your family. Various performances could be scheduled to cater to all ages. A covered stage area would allow rain or shine events."
"We wanted to put something in place that folks will be excited about," Hoover said. "The runs every year and it's always a challenge finding a place for it ... and the amphitheater is not too expensive."
Hoover estimates its cost at between $40,000 and $50,000, also funded almost entirely by donations and sponsorships.
As the proposal is pending progress on the housing development, Hoover said there is plenty of time to raise funds.
"The next step would be to form a non-profit [organization] to start soliciting funds—that would be necessary to bring in a company for design work," he said.
Hoover said he's optimistic that community members will help pay for both projects.
"We can move forward gathering donations and sponsorships ... it's something that could grow very, very quickly," he said.
Marks issued a statement on Wednesday in support of the proposal and praising Hoover and the committee.
"I agree with their recommendation for a playground and outdoor performance area. These will complement the library nicely and should not overwhelm the existing parking area. I will discuss the report with the Kamenetz administration, and thank these volunteers for their service." he stated.
Would you use these resources next to the library if they were available? Tell us in the comments.