The Town of Matthews is giving a facelift to one of its most popular family hangouts, Squirrel Lake Park.
Over the next six months, the park will undergo a slew of renovations, from new playground equipment and swing sets to a handicapped-accessible fishing pier.
There will also be a new restroom facility, modifications to the parking lot and more parking spaces, as well as a new shelter near the water.
Another addition is an asphalt connector trail that will run from Pleasant Plans Road through the park to Four Mile Creek Greenway.
Work on the park started at the end of January and should continue until July 2011.
"We've been in touch with neighborhoods in the area, so they're aware," said Annette Privette-Keller, communications director for the Town of Matthews. "People are really excited about it."
Squirrel Lake Park is one of the older parks in Matthews, and the town has been discussing renovations plans for several years. The project is slated to cost $784,180.
Half the funding came from a North Carolina's Parks and Recreation Trust Fund grants, which were established to assist state parks, local municipalities and beach accesses. The rest of the money will come from the Town of Matthews' general fund.
The park's popular disc golf course will stay intact.
Privette-Keller said the town plans to keep the park open during the renovations and block off only specific areas for construction when necessary. Updates will be on the town's website, www.matthewsnc.com.
"We know most of the work is going to be taking place in the early spring and summer, when people are really wanting to use the park, and unfortunately, that's also the best time to do construction," said Privette-Keller. "We're all going to work in partnership to make it happen as quickly as possible."