Developer Donates Hundreds Of Acres For Durham Park, School
Posted October 31, 2006 7:04 a.m. EST
DURHAM, N.C. — The spectacular view on 325 acres in the Treyburn area of Durham can leave visitors speechless. But, it's the vision behind what's happening to the land that's got people talking.
"(We're going) to bring a school, a park and a natural preserve together," said county commissioner Ellen Reckhow.
The Triangle Land Conservancy is getting 240 acres of it for open space. Another 32 acres is going to a new middle school. Durham school superintendent Dr. Carl Harris said the system wants to take advantage of the natural surroundings.
"A middle school focusing on science, math and technology would be ideal," said Harris.
The plan includes a 114-acre park, with an eye toward nearly a dozen new athletic fields. The park and the school are partnering to save taxpayers tens of thousands of dollars.
"We can joint venture on utility expansion, parking construction and road access," Reckhow said.
The deal will benefit nearby neighborhoods by having both a school and park within walking distance, which adds desirability to the area.
"People can go walk, ride bikes or just hang out in the woods," developer D.R. Bryan said.
Bryan said the number of homes in the area would jump from 500 to 1,700 in the next 10 years. He said he has donated about 1,000 acres worth more than $11 million because he believes the foundation for a good home is a good community around it.
Durham Parks and Recreation Assistant Director Beth Timson said the athletic fields are part of a long-term plan that could cost about $12 million. In the short-term, city officials might let Duke University and North Carolina Central University use the park land for a cross-country running course.