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Heritage Park Recreation Complex - Simpsonville, S.C.

Wood+Partners Inc., Landscape Architecture & Park Design




Heritage Park in Simpsonville, S.C. is a new recreation complex and community park that blends ballfields, playgrounds and civic open spaces for public gatherings and community events. The turf for the baseball and soccer fields (TIFWAY 419) is an "improved hybrid Bermuda," a fine-textured dense turf said to be an excellent choice for sports and high traffic areas. The turf for the general areas is a common Bermuda.
Rain bird
Rain bird
Came America Teak Warehouse

Like many communities throughout the Southeast, Simpsonville, S.C. needed additional park and recreation facilities to meet the rapidly growing demands of the city's families and residents. Simpsonville (pop. 14,352) is in Greenville County, the northwest section of the state. The city not only needed more parks, but needed facilities that appealed to all segments of the population in a cost effective manner.




The baseball-themed playground (Columbia Cascade) links visitors to the baseball training facility.

A new recreation complex and community park, would serve just that purpose. By including special event sites and revenue producing facilities the city would be able to offset operations and maintenance costs of the park.

Wood+Partners Inc. (WPi) led the area residents and elected officials through a discovery process that culminated in developing a new regional recreation destination that blends ballfields, playgrounds and civic open spaces for public gatherings and community festivals. WPi is a planning and landscape architectural firm founded in 1988 that serves clients throughout the southeast and the Caribbean. The firm has grown into a premier park and recreation planning and landscape architecture firm in South Carolina, Florida and Georgia, with offices in Hilton Head Island, S.C., and Tallahassee, Fla.




The Heritage Park Center Building (entrance pictured) houses a café, an arcade room, public restrooms, offices and a police substation. The building features a two-story lobby with an elevated roof and wide overhangs. The building's curve and sloping metal roof symbolize covered seating areas of professional baseball stadiums.


The planning and design team, led by WPi, consisted of landscape architects, architects, civil engineers, electrical engineers, structural engineers, environmental consultants and recreation professionals. The team began the project by assisting the client with site selection and continued leading the project through the public input phase; production of a business plan; master planning; schematic design; design development; construction documentation and construction administration.

WPi conducted numerous public workshops and focus group meetings to gather input from the community and create excitement and interest in the park. The site assessment phase led to creation of an innovative design that took best advantage of the existing site features, such as topography, hydrology and vegetation to minimize construction cost and produce a sustainable plan. The master planning also included the preparation of a business plan that assisted in establishing project priorities, the addition of revenue producing facilities and the ultimate reduction of operations and maintenance costs.




The "corporate" shelter is perfect for company gatherings in the park.


The project faced typical planning and design challenges, which were solved in different ways. Clearing and grading impacts were minimized and construction costs reduced by taking advantage of the site topography when locating facilities. Retention of existing vegetation was of primary importance to enhance stormwater management, reduce heat island effects and add to the sense of place created within the park. The completion of a business plan aided in identifying a unique mix of facilities and activities that would ultimately generate approximately 70 percent of the costs of operating the park.




The newest addition to the Heritage Park is the 17,000 seat Charter Amphitheatre designed by architects Craig Gaulden & Davis of Greenville, S.C. It's located adjacent to three soccer fields. The city of Simpsonville wanted a "rigging" canopy for the amphitheatre stage. The canopy and stage support meet the criteria for any national touring production. A perforated metal screen suspended above the stage is a memorable icon and offers myriad lighting options.


Ballfield Complex
While typical ballfield complexes are used for six to nine months of the year, Heritage Park embraced the development of internal open spaces and dual-use facilities within the confines of the ballfield complex to extend use throughout the year. This was accomplished through the introduction of civic open spaces, surrounded by wide sidewalks, a creative and exciting centrally-located playground, a park center and an internal baseball training facility.




The park now features "Freedom Aloft," an upstate celebration held here on the Memorial Day weekend and featuring 100 hot-air balloons, concerts, amusement rides, fireworks and much more.

Park Center Bldg.
The main park center building features a two-story lobby with an elevated roof and wide overhangs. The curved building and sloping metal roof symbolize covered seating areas of professional baseball stadiums. This centrally located building has been designed to accommodate public meetings and gatherings, birthday parties and special events. It includes a café, an arcade room, public restrooms, offices and a police substation.




The front of the Press Box Building faces three baseball fields. Traditional seating (bleachers, Dant Clayton Corp.) is augmented by seatwalls behind the backstop.

Baseball-Themed Playground
Just behind the building, a baseball-themed playground links visitors to the baseball training facility with batting cages, soft toss nets and warm-up areas, all meant to function year around for use by local clinics, camps and individuals.

Ample sidewalks accommodate booth setups for special events, such as a "Taste of Simpsonville" and "Art in the Park." The successful "Freedom Aloft" upstate celebration is now held here on the Memorial Day weekend, featuring 100 hot-air balloons, concerts, disc dog competitions, amusement rides, fireworks and much more.




The Meadow includes a playground (equipment from Little Tikes and GameTime), a children's train, walking trail, soft toss nets for baseball, gazebo, picnic shelters and its own parking.


Charter Amphitheatre
The newest addition to the Heritage Park is Charter Amphitheatre, located adjacent to three soccer fields and designed by architects Craig Gaulden & Davis of Greenville, S.C. The city of Simpsonville wanted a "rigging" canopy for the amphitheatre stage. The canopy and its stage support features designed to meet the criteria for any national touring production. A perforated metal screen suspended above the stage is a memorable icon and offers myriad lighting options with sunlight and shadows during the daylight hours and interest with colored lighting in the evening during performances. The Charter Amphitheatre seats 17,000 and is quite the entertainment hot spot for upstate concerts and performances.




There's a café at the back of the Park Center Building and the concomitant site amenities: tables, umbrellas, trash receptacles and benches (Wabash Valley).

Other Park Attractions
Other aspects of the park include a children's train, a meadow area and numerous picnic shelters, all taken in with the visitor's first view of the park. The miniature train crosses a trestle, passing through a small railroad-themed building and offering views of the park's native forest of hardwoods, pines and open spaces. The area is also encircled by a leisure trail that links all portions of the park's pathways and connects to a planned business park to the east and a residential community to the west.

This new and diverse recreation offered at Heritage Park is a welcome addition to Simpsonville and South Carolina's upstate region. People throughout the area frequently enjoy its outdoor activities, walk and jog on its miles of pathways and attend civic events, festivals and youth athletic games.




The miniature train crosses a trestle, passing through a small railroad-themed building and offers views of the park's native forest of hardwoods, pines and open spaces.

About the Firm
Wood+ Partners Inc. (WPi) is a planning and landscape architectural firm founded in 1988 and serves a diverse range of clients throughout the Southeast and the Caribbean. The firm specializes in park design, recreation planning, streetscape planning and urban design and community and resort planning.

WPi is committed to promotion and development of sustainable parks (LEED) and believes design should reflect nature and community.




The traditional southern porch swing (GameTime) is reinvented as a park amenity under the arbors.

Design Team
Owner: City of Simpsonville, S.C.
Recreation Director: Robbie Davis
Team Leader, Park Master Planning:
Wood+Partners Inc., Landscape Architecture & Park Design

Architecture: Craig Gaulden & Davis, Inc.
Civil Engineering: Gray Engineering
Site Electrical: DWG
Signage Design: Donavon Design Assoc.
Irrigation: STI

General Contractor: Sherman Construction, Allen & Andy Sherman, Greenville, S.C.

Block Masonry: A&A Masonry Construction Co.
Electrical: Blankenship Electric
E.F.S.: Construction Solutions
Grading: McMillan-Carter
HVAC: Carolina Heating Service
Landscaping & Irrigation:
Carolina Garden Co.
Painting: Waddell Painting
Plumbing: Lovelace Plumbing Service




Ample sidewalks accommodate booth setups for special events, such as a "Taste of Simpsonville" and "Art in the Park." Tennessee Ashlar fieldstone is used in the pillars. It's also used in the park for low seat walls and decorates the main road entry monument signage (bottom).

Vendors
o Batting Cages, Soft Toss Nets: The Net House
o Bleachers: Dant Clayton Corp.
o Café tables, umbrellas, trash receptacles, benches: Wabash Valley
o Fencing, chain link & wood: Nations Fence Co.

Lighting:
o Parking and Area: Duke Energy
o Athletic Field Lighting: MUSCO

o Picnic Shelters: Polygon

Playground Equip.:
o Columbia Cascade
o Little Tikes
o GameTime

o Roofing, metal: JVS, Inc.

o Signs: Commercial Engraving

o Stone Masonry: Nature's Way Superior Stone Masonry







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November 18, 2019, 11:20 am PDT

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