College Park received two $150,000 grants last week from the state to be used for two North College Park projects.
The Hollywood Streetscape and Duvall Field projects will be able to proceed thanks to the state grants, both of which will require a 100 percent matching of funds from the city.
“The state bond bills will help us to have the funds necessary to complete the next phase of design,” College Park Mayor Patrick Wojahn said.
Without the grant money, the Duvall Field renovation project would not have been able to proceed, city planning director Terry Schum said. A recreation plaza was constructed near the new Duvall Field concession building, both of which were part of phase one of the project last year, she said.
Duvall Field has been in need of renovation for a long time, Wojahn said. Completing the renovation will make it easier for the city’s Boys and Girls Club to play there and expand, he said.
District 1 Councilman Fazlul Kabir said the next phase involves formulating a plan for how the rest of Duvall Field will be renovated, which requires a considerable amount of community feedback.
The second phase still has not started, Schum said, but the grant money can go toward hiring a consultant to develop a vision for Duvall Field based on resident opinion. Only after the plan is finalized can construction begin, she said.
Funds for the project were first appropriated in 2006 and the project is expected to finish in 2021, the city’s fiscal 2019 budget says.
Wojahn said the fields have had problems with drainage for years. Rearranging the fields, adding a basketball court to the parking lot and installing new floodlights are all ideas considered for Duvall Field, Kabir said.
But he added that these aren’t concrete plans.
“Nothing has been confirmed or decided,” Kabir said.
The Hollywood Streetscape project, a separate project with its own grant, is also in the planning and design phase, Kabir said. Revitalizing the commercial district had been talked about for years, he said, but did not happen for a long time due to lack of funds.
Kabir said the project will repurpose unused city-owned service lanes and make them into parklets — small public gathering spaces that beautify the area. General pedestrian improvements like landscaping, lighting and sidewalk widening are also planned, he said. Bike lanes and racks will also be constructed, he said.
A “wellness trail” around the Hollywood shopping center is also proposed as part of the Streetscape project but is delayed because the trail would touch a stormwater management area, Kabir said, which falls under the county’s jurisdiction. The trail is being postponed until a study is conducted that assesses its feasibility, he said.
Although the city knows what the project will do at a “conceptual” level, Schum said, it still needs to go out to bid and bring an engineer on board finalize the design of the project.
Wojahn said the streetscape project is “critical” for the revitalization of the Hollywood commercial district and that construction is expected to begin next year. Funds for the project were first appropriated in 2010 and it is expected to be completed in 2021, the city’s fiscal 2019 budget says.
The city believes that private investment will follow public investment, Wojahn said, so if the city invests in the area private landowners and business owners will be encouraged to move to Hollywood’s commercial district.
“There’s interest in the Hollywood commercial district and the streetscape project will help that interest grow,” Wojahn said.