Greensboro Rotary Carousel kickstarts plans to create thriving Battleground Parks District

GREENSBORO, N.C. -- The Greensboro Rotary held a demonstration showcasing the new carousel set to open in front of the Greensboro Science Center. It should be up and running early next year. The carousel is really the jumping off point for the master plan to build up the Battleground Parks District. It’s a way to bring families in, and keep them in the area all day.

Karina Ross and her boys, Eddie and Jimmy, are one of the many families who are at Country Park frequently. They’re excited for the new developments coming to the area.

“Yes we're glad they're expanding, and the new carousel. And it's just fun, just a fun place to be,” Ross said.

Work is well underway. Work is already done on grading and electrical. The concrete should be done in the next four weeks. The animals are getting carved and by the end of December, the construction site will be home to the crown jewel of Battleground Parks District.

Greensboro Assistant City Manager Chris Wilson says this is a key piece in the project to build up and connect the parks' more than 400 acres.

“Imagine a full day bringing a family to go see the aquarium and the zoo, and to go over and walk though the National Military Park, and see all the milestones there; and then to get on the carousel,” Wilson said.

This is the first phase of the project, building up the area by the Greensboro Science Center. And there's more, like a potential skywalk behind the carousel, giving a view of the complete Battleground District.

“It's been evolving into this juggernaut of a plan for Greensboro and I promise you, it is the next big thing for Greensboro,” Wilson said.

It’s great news for the city, but also the families like Melissa Dolellinger's, who come out here often.

“It's definitely growing and getting more activities and such for families to do and we love that, getting out and enjoying it,” she said.

The carousel is a public private project. The city is paying for $5 million. Rotary's contribution is $1.5 million. Project leaders are expecting a big impact. They predict 500,000 to 1 million people per year will visit it.

Phase two involves adding more clay tennis courts to the other side of Battleground Park. That will allow more tennis tournaments to come in. City leaders are talking about phase three, but there's no word yet on what those plans may entail.