At the May 14 meeting, the board of county commissioners approved construction bids to expand Benny Russell Park. Improvements will be constructed to the west of the existing parking lot and include a splash pad with restroom, new playground for ages five through 12, fitness fun-zone court, multi-purpose trail, multi-purpose sports field, and picnic pavilions.
Following a series of public input sessions in 2018, the improvements were designed and permitted by Genesis Halff. The construction cost of the project is $3.825 million which will be funded by a combination of sources including district one recreation funding, local option sales tax, and a Florida Recreation Development Assistance Grant.
“This project is a wonderful example of a community inspired park and I am excited to see the project move forward," said Commissioner Sam Parker, District 1. "I am appreciative of all the citizens who provided input during our community workshops. I also want to thank my fellow commissioners, the state of Florida for providing grant funding, and the county staff members who have worked tirelessly to see this project come to fruition.”
Benny Russell Park is a popular county park that serves many residents in the central and north part of the county. The park was constructed in 2002 as a result of a community driven fundraising effort to honor Bennett C. Russell, who served as superintendent of schools for 20 years. Following the contract phase, construction is estimated to begin in June and conclude by April of 2021. A ground-breaking ceremony will be scheduled prior to construction start. Find a view of the project map here.