Major improvements are in store for Winston Lake, Salem Lake and Quarry parks, with money from the voter-approved 2018 bonds paying for design and construction.

The Winston-Salem City Council recently approved going forward with the design work needed to bring about the second phase of improvements being planned at the three parks.

The city plans to spend $5.3 million at Winston Lake Park, $3.7 million at Salem Lake Park, and $3.1 million at Quarry Park, one of the city’s newest additions to the parks system.

City officials said a lot of what needs to be done at Winston Lake falls under the category of maintenance.

“It has all kinds of silt and sediment,” said Robert Prestwood, the city engineer, explaining the reason that dredging the lake is on the agenda for Winston Lake.

William Royston, the director of recreation and parks for the city, said it has been perhaps more than 20 years since the lake was dredged. Cars were even pulled out of the lake the last time dredging was done, Royston noted.

But the improvements will also include building a waterfront boardwalk on Winston Lake, with a new fishing pier and restroom facilities.

“We are trying to increase the opportunities for fishing at the lake,” Royston said, noting that the need for more fishing areas was one of the things that came out of public input meetings the department held in the community when it put together a master plan for the park.

The park plans also include a strollway around the lake and repairs to the dam, where overgrown vegetation needs to be removed so that the condition of the dam can be checked.

Phase two of the Winston Lake Park improvements comes on top of a major first phase that included construction of a pool, a lazy river, a water-splash area and other aquatic attractions plus changing rooms.

Steel Group Architects PLLC, which did the design work on the first phase for almost $500,000, is being hired to do the second phase for $411,125.

Prestwood said the design work for all three of the parks will be taking about nine months during the current year, with hopes that all three projects will be under construction during 2020 and finished about a year after that.

At Salem Lake, where the first phase included construction of a new marina and other attractions, the second phase is slated to bring an open-air pavilion, a new shelter, an improved area to launch boats and a “soft launch” area for people wanting to put canoes and kayaks out on the lake.

“The boat ramp is too steep and needs to be redone,” Prestwood said.

Royston said the soft-launch area for canoeists and kayakers refers to an area created to be like an artificial sand beach where people can launch their craft.

As with the Winston Lake Project, the city is using the same phase one architect on phase two. Norwood Architecture and Design Inc., which got about $360,000 on the first phase of the work, is getting $306,000 for design on the second phase.

Royston said that one thing he hears all the time about Quarry Park is that it is badly in need of shade.

“I’ve been out there at 9 a.m. on some of our more humid days and left completely drenched in sweat,” Royston said.

Under the second phase of park improvements, the park will get shelters and additional shade structures, as well as additional parking. The park will also get a playground.

Royston said the Quarry Park has proven to be popular with residents, even without enough shade.

“In August last year when we had the eclipse, the quarry was packed with people enjoying it. We had a Rock Out the Quarry, a fantastic event that turned out well. The park is doing what we wanted it to do, allowing people to appreciate this wonderful resource that has been kept a secret for so long.”

Stimmel Associates, which received about $670,000 for the first phase of design, is getting $270,000 for the second phase.

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