Residents have until midnight tonight to enter online comments on the final conceptual site plan for improvements to the Silver Spring Intermediate Park.
The 3.6-acre park, which is bounded on three sides by Philadelphia, Chicago and Boston avenues, is on the site of the former Silver Spring Intermediate School. It is still owned by the school system, but is managed by Montgomery Parks, which installed the parking lot, basketball court, tennis court, ball fields and playground in the 1980s.
The final plan was developed following a series of community meetings in 2018, including a June meeting where residents could vote on their favorite concept from among four options.
Montgomery Parks collected additional comments online prior to creating the final plan, which was created by LSG Landscape Architecture after reviewing the two most popular options.
The improvements to the park are intended to address existing issues, including:
- Poor drainage of fields and the tennis courts
- Decaying and crumbling retaining walls with unsafe guardrails
- Park entrances not ADA compliant
- Underutilized parking area
- Invasive plants and erosion issues
- Lack of connection between the playground and the rest of the park, and
- Limited seating.
The proposed improvements, as listed by Montgomery Parks, include:
- ADA-accessible walkway that connects the main park entrance, bus stop, courts, and playground
- New walkway connecting the Chicago Avenue/Boston Avenue entrance to the rest of the park
- New ADA-accessible parking space
- Designated location for portable restroom, with screen
- New drinking fountain
- New bike racks
- New bioretention areas to treat stormwater runoff on site
- Minimal regrading of the open lawn area to create a smoother and more user-friendly play area
- Replacement of the existing retaining wall and guardrail at the southeast corner on Boston Avenue.
- Spot repair of the existing white retaining wall along Boston Avenue, with new guardrail
- Accessible entrance to the playground
- New fixed tables
- New safety fences along Boston Avenue
- New natural play area and boardwalk near the existing playground and the new bio-retention area
- New bike racks
- Basketball courts with taller fences, new seating wall, more benches
- Leveled tennis court surfaces, repainted to include pickle ball lines, new backstop walls, more benches, and
- An accessible walkway from the bus stop linked into the park, with more benches near the waiting area
The final design of the $1.5 million project will be submitted to the Planning Board for approval. If granted, construction could start this year and the park open in 2020.
Top, screen shot of park concept from Montgomery Parks website. Below, schematic of current park from Montgomery Parks presentation. P=Parking, BB=Basketball courts, T=Tennis courts, PG=Playground