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Construction is set to begin next month at Cherokee Lake Park. The project, which was started last summer, will include repairs to the spillway dam and a widened trail on the west side, among other repairs and enhancements. The project will also connect the park’s walking paths to the 15-mile Community Trail, which will ultimately connect all city parks and neighborhoods.

In preparation of construction, lighting will be removed on the west side of the lake. “Unfortunately, we must remove the lighting on the west side immediately so that the park is ready for construction to begin on January 2nd,” said Lauren Radford, Director of Outreach and Engagement. “Lighting will remain in place on the playground side of the lake.”

Portions of the park will be closed to the public when construction begins on January 2nd. This closure will impact walking paths from adjoining neighborhoods. The walking trails on the east side of the lake, including the picnic pavilions and playground area, will remain open.

“The areas that are closed to the public will be clearly marked when construction begins,” said Radford. “While we regret having to limit the park’s usage during the construction phase, it is necessary so that we can maintain a safe environment for our citizens and the work crews.”

The project has been delayed due to an increase to the initial scope of work for the project. It is now scheduled to be completed in early May 2018. The project was changed to include the removal of some trees that were recommended by a licensed arborist. Additional retaining walls are also now included to protect existing trees from future damage. Additional changes were added at the suggestion of park users who participated in Discovery Walks to discuss the project.

“We heard from those that use and love Cherokee Lake the most that they would like to include additional landscaping near the Jail-Justice Center, so the project has been altered to allow for that,” said Radford. “This is an example of how we can alter projects to include feedback from our community. It is exciting when we can work together to put suggestions into place.”

Another addition to the project will be an entrance feature. “While the exact design is still to be determined, including this feature into the overall project reflects the commitment we’ve made to improve our public parks and greenspaces,” said Radford.

The City of Thomasville’s website will stay up-to-date as the project continues. “We’ve added a Current Projects section of our website that we will update as the project moves forward,” she said. “We know Cherokee Lake is a very popular and well-loved park, and we are working to return an enhanced and better greenspace to our community.”