Monday, July 02, 2007

Mini-Golf

Clarification: Planning but No Plans as yet for Mini-Golf
In this space last week, I wrote that the county’s sports commission was to see plans for the miniature golf course at the corner of N. Glebe Road and N. Randolph Street. That was not quite correct. In an interview today, Scott McPartlin, the project manager handling that space, said “we have to secure the easements,” for the park before any further plans could be made. “I expect that will happen soon.”

At the sports commission meeting, as part of making the public aware of the project, Mr. McPartlin ran through the planning for the site that has already been completed: the decision to use the space as a mini-golf course including a section on the history of mini-golf in general and in Ballston; the nearness of parking, shopping, dining and metro; and how the space will “accentuate” the downtown experience, Mr. McPartlin said.

He said this plan is unique, a mini-golf course in an urban setting. “This really would be the first of its kind,” he said today.

Mr. McPartlin said the decision to pursue a mini-golf course was made before he came into the position a couple years ago. The county board asked staff to consider an “active” park. Some of the other choices were a rock climbing wall, outside ice, and an amphitheatre, but the mini-golf was chosen because it could be “enjoyed by all generations at the same time,” Mr. McPartlin said. It is also would enjoy nearly year-round use.

Since then, the county has asked for letters of interest from contracting companies, and the response was strong, he said. Over the past year, or so, Mr. McPartlin has taken the idea to many meetings, including nearby civic associations.

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