ARCHDALE, N.C. -- To some, paper and pipe cleaners are for art projects.
But some city leaders see them as ways to represent the future.
“We know we’re going to grow. It’s a community along two interstate highways that’s just asking for growth,” said Zeb Holden, Archdale city manager.
Archdale was formed only 50 years ago and around 12,000 people live there.
“We expect within the next 15 to 20 years that number will increase to about 15,000,” Holden said.
Growth means there needs to be more development.
That’s where residents come in, helping to map out the future master plan using pipe cleaners.
Each one represents a street, neighborhood or business.
“The citizens that participated kind of looked at the map and the realities of where utility lines are and where it would be possible to service them and have those ones so it’s very interactive and very well participated,” Holden said.
It's a new take on hands-on city planning.
“We want to make sure that folks understand why and how we came to the decision,” Holden said.
Holden wants Archdale to expand outward so Creekside Park serves as the centerpiece of the city.
A basketball court, beach volleyball and extended walking trails were just added weeks ago. The work is not finished. A dog park and restroom facilities are currently under construction.
“We have folks there recently that say this is a great park, is it new? No, it’s 40 years old but we’ve done extensive renovations and updates,” Holden said.
The park will hopefully attract businesses and homeowners.
“People don’t realize how much amenities mean to companies that might want to locate in Randolph County or Archdale. If we have a well-maintained attractive park, we think that folks are going to want to be here. We’ve created trails that go into all of these neighborhoods. Everybody all the way over to this side of Main Street can walk into the park,” Holden said.
City leaders are using a $340,000 state grant to help pay for some of the improvements at the park.
They hope to have the work finished by the spring.