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Rolesville gets first look at ‘The Farm’ park plans

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ROLESVILLE — Athletic fields, dog parks, an event center, farms, trails and ponds — Rolesville’s next park is aiming to have it all.

Town officials have been looking to build a new park for the last few years. In October 2017, the town bought 116 acres off Louisburg Road, near the intersection with North Main Street, with the goal of converting it to a recreation space.

Since then, the town hired consulting firm McAdams to draft a conceptual plan for the park, called the Frasier Farm Athletic Complex or simply “The Farm.”

The town’s board of commissioners got a first look at a draft of those plans last week.

“We really wanted to make something that was a park for everyone,” said J.G. Ferguson, director of Rolesville’s Parks and Recreation department.

Although the plans are subject to change as details are refined, McAdams’ concept includes three playgrounds, a small and large dog park, a tree grove, five ball fields, five multi-use athletic fields, an amphitheater, a 5,000-square-foot event center, event lawn, trails, a pond with piers, greenways and multi-use paths. There will also be space for concessions and bathrooms.

Athletic fields and trails were among a list of amenities the town’s parks and recreation master plan, completed last year, determined the town would need more of as its population grows.

In addition, the park would feature a grove of trees and two large fields used for agritourism. Ferguson said the fields could show visitors how crops are grown and may include community gardens.

“As Rolesville continues to grow there’s a lot of farms that are turning into subdivisions, neighborhoods and that kind of thing,” Ferguson said. “So we want to kind of keep some of that history of Rolesville as a part of this park as well, at least in this concept.”

The amphitheater could host concerts and the athletic fields and event spaces can be rented out to generate revenue for the town. Ferguson said the park could also have an economic impact in the area.

Commissioners last week expressed a desire to see if tennis courts might be included in the final plan for the park, according to Ferguson.

Part of the refining process over the next few months will include calculating a cost to build the park. The town won’t know when the park might open until commissioners settle on a method to fund the construction.