West-side Recreation Group discusses community event site at Aviation Park

Published 6:43 am Saturday, December 7, 2019

The Kill Devil Hills West-Side Recreation Group met Monday night, Nov. 25, to discuss plans for Aviation Park and Meekins Field.

After surveying the local community on general thoughts about Aviation Park, assistant planning director Cameron Ray presented the results from that survey to the group.

The current opinion from KDH residents of the park is “very good” overall. With 278 responses, Ray was “happy again that we had a good turnout” on the number of people that participated in the survey.

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Staff is currently working towards some renovations in Aviation Park, such as expansion of the playground with new play equipment (including all-inclusive equipment), extension of the chain-linked fence, new hockey rink lights and replacement of the current signage.

Ray pointed out that staff is also working towards promoting the park as a community event site. To make Aviation more well-known around town, Ray said his team came up with the concept of a mural painted on one of the large walls of the restroom building.

The group agreed this idea for a mural would be a great idea. “By putting up signage, I think you fulfill half your issues,” board member Kelli Miller said.

Overall, the group felt this park already has a lot of amenities to offer and ample parking. “If we could do a lot of stuff in house as far as improvements at Aviation, it may be something we can hold off a little bit on and concentrate on other parks,” Terry Gray, group chairman, suggested.

Will Foxwell IV noted that there is a lot of open space beside the hockey rink towards the back of the park. “Maybe we could develop some kind of exhibit there,” he suggested. The group discussed talking with the local art community, specifically the KDH Co-op, to ask for recommendations about an interchangeable art exhibit to occupy that space in Aviation.

  1. Dillon Heikens revisited the topic of making Aviation park a community event site. “We talked about pop-up shops, art shows, maybe a food truck festival?” Gray agreed this site would make for a great community gathering place. “I like the idea of Dowdy Park,” Gray said. “It’s really a community draw.”

Like Dowdy Park, the group talked about having vendors, food trucks, music events, farmers markets and even yard sales at Aviation in the future.

After discussing these thoughts, Foxwell made a motion to approve staff recommendations based on the 2004 Recreational Facilities Plan, including improved equipment, new signage, public art, bench implementation and the promotion of community events. Miller seconded the motion and all were in favor.

Following the discussion on Aviation Park, Ray presented a conceptual site plan for Meekins Field. He indicated that the site is in need of work and “sees an opportunity for more recreation.”

Ray said his office had been tossing around some ideas for the site, such as a full-size soccer field, a practice field for soccer or lacrosse, more parking with a traffic circle with access to the Dare Centre, a public art wall and two family pavilions. The current softball field would be removed.

Steve Albright, public services director, created a rough draft of what Meekins could look like with these new amenities. After the group reviewed the plans, they decided to come up with thoughts and ideas to bring to the next meeting and discuss a more finalized plan then.

Gray ended the meeting with a comment on the exceptional staff and group: “These guys do phenomenal work; they spend a lot of time in making sure that our recreation facilities are blooming as they should be.”

The next West-side Recreation Group meeting will be held in the Meeting Room of KDH Town Hall on Jan. 13 at 6 p.m.



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