Firm presents master plan for Alabaster parks

By NEAL WAGNER / Managing Editor

ALABASTER – The city could one day see a continuous green space, including an outdoor performance area, a food truck parking lot and a splash pad, according to a proposed city park master plan presented during a recent City Council work session.

Representatives with Wood Environment and Infrastructure Solutions attended the council’s April 19 work session and shared the proposed plan, which included recommended designs for Buck Creek Park, Warrior Park and the municipal green near City Hall and the Alabaster Senior Center.

The presentation came about six months after the council voted to pay the company $8,850 to prepare the proposed design plan.

“This is a master plan, so it’s fluid,” said Wood Environment and Infrastructure Solutions Senior Principal Ron Huffman. “A lot of what we do is look at what things could be. First and foremost, we try to look at circulation and safety. That’s a big deal to me.”

The proposed plan calls for a frontage road next to the CSX railroad tracks connecting City Hall with Buck Creek Park. Currently, traffic traveling from Buck Creek Park to City Hall must start on Sixth Avenue Southwest, turn right on First Street Southwest, turn right on Alabama 119 and then turn right onto 11th Avenue Southwest.

The plan calls for a roundabout at the intersection of 11th Avenue Southwest and Municipal Way, paving over the current gravel City Hall overflow lot and a multi-use parking area with enough space for a food truck corral.

As presented, the plan called for an amphitheater, restrooms and a splash pad on the municipal green next to the old Siluria Mills water tower and a pedestrian path connecting the green with Buck Creek Park.

Huffman said the plan also recommended moving the city’s Public Works building, which currently is in between City Hall and Buck Creek Park, to the former Alabaster YMCA lot next to the Senior Center. The plan also called for rearranging the baseball fields at Warrior Park to allow for more parking.

April 19 was the first time the council had reviewed the proposed plan, and the plan is not yet finalized. Alabaster City Manager Brian Binzer said if the plan is approved, it will guide a long-term project in the area.

“This is not meant to be a ‘build tomorrow’ project,” Binzer said. “It’s a master plan, so it’s meant to be a ‘build over time’ project.”