SILVER SPRING – A chain link fence surrounds the closed Pinecrest Park in the Woodmoor section of Silver Spring. Construction trucks and mounds of dirt now stand where children played, and soccer, and older kids and grownups? previously played softball and tennis games..
The 5.5-acre park has been closed for renovations since the summer and currently is undergoing stormwater management and drainage improvements. The park, which is located on St. Lawrence Drive and abuts Pine Crest Elementary School, is under the auspices of the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission.
The $1.5-million renovation was necessary to make the park accessible to all and to fix drainage and erosion problems, explained William Payton, project manager for the county park and planning commission.
The park is expected to reopen this fall, when the new school year begins.
More parking spaces are included in the improvements, he said. The parking area will jump from the current 13 to 18 spaces. There will be one spot for a handicapped-accessible van.
An Americans With Disabilities Act-compliant asphalt walkway around the park also is being built. The path will connect the park to both the neighborhood and abutting elementary school.
While the tennis court will remain as is, the playing field will be improved, Payton said.
The park previously had one field, for playing both softball and soccer. When it reopens, there will be a 250-foot by 180-foot multipurpose field with a modified backstop, which will enable other games, including kickball, to be played, Payton said. The field will consist of Bermuda grass.
An improved drainage system with bioswales, which are landscape elements designed to remove debris and pollution out of surface runoff water, also is part of the project.
An underground water system will be added beneath the field for better drainage, explained Paul Mayerman, president of Peak Incorporated, the projects general contractor.
“It’s going to be a real nice field,” he said.
Landscaping, including trees, shrubs and plants, will be planted throughout the park. Benches also will be provided throughout.
The park itself will remain the same size.
“No new land will be taken or released. We stayed within the perimeter of the boundary,” Payton said.
When the park is completed, new features also will include a bicycle rack, a fence-enclosed outside bathroom facility, a water fountain and an information kiosk.
Brad Speicher’s home abuts the park, and he anxiously awaits its reopening this fall. His one-year-old son, Logan, “is just coming to the age to use it,” he said.
“I think it’s a good thing. I am anxious to see how it turns out,” he said.
A decision was made to improve the park back in 2015, and a community meeting was held that summer.
The Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission went out for bids in October 2017. But those bids came in over budget, and a request for new bids took place in April 2018.
The land was acquired by the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission in 1944 and was developed into a park in the 1950s.