Woodleaf, NC Celebrates New Community Park on Historic School Site

Projects | May 09, 2024


Woodleaf Community Park Ribbon Cutting

ROWAN COUNTY, NC—A new Benesh-designed community park has opened on the site of a former elementary school in Woodleaf, North Carolina, bringing some much-needed recreational offerings to the community. Woodleaf Community Park, the area’s only park, offers a variety of amenities tailored to meet the needs of the community.

The park features an accessible playground, outdoor fitness equipment, a picnic shelter and both paved and soft surface walking paths. These facilities not only provide diverse recreational opportunities but also fulfill a long-standing community desire for a dedicated park space.

The 11-acre site became available when Woodleaf Elementary School was closed and demolished in 2017. After obtaining the site and securing funding through a PARTF grant, Rowan County enlisted Benesch to update an existing master plan, undertake the park’s design and oversee construction.

The project team updated the plan to consolidate the facilities and enhance accessibility throughout the park while ensuring the proposed elements of the grant were incorporated into the park. The design also accommodated the park’s existing trees, a historic water tower and the Woodleaf Elementary School sign.

Early on in construction, the park’s proximity to a quarry presented challenges. “We quickly encountered large pockets of shallow granite which led to some rock removal,” explained Benesch Senior Project Manager Jon Wood, PLA, CLARB. “Rather than moving forward with extensive excavation, we regraded a portion of the parking lot to avoid additional rock removal. This allowed us to streamline construction and save on additional construction costs without compromising on design.”

The transformation of the site into Woodleaf Community Park was celebrated with a ribbon cutting ceremony on April 13, marking the park’s official opening and the beginning of a new chapter for the Woodleaf community and Rowan County Parks & Recreation.