HUNTERSVILLE – Indoor seating for more than 250 and accommodations for the town’s historic ice house highlight the most recent master plan for Main and Maxwell Park.

Parks and Recreation Director Michael Jaycocks had a discussion on Nov. 18 with the town board about the new park, which comes after the town’s $5 million parks and recreation bonds were approved in November 2012.

The town board complimented the plan brought forth by Jaycocks and designer John Shurley about how to include the town’s ice house within the upcoming park.

The ice house, according to the new plan, will be incorporated into the park without compromising its structure. Adding it would lead to creating 400 to 500 square feet of space to the park, which is expected to be suitable for a farmer’s market, wedding receptions or bridal showers, and other social events.

“If we kept the ice house exactly as it is, then you’d have two entrances on either side of the ice house,” Shurley said. “What we’re doing is spreading the ice house out. There would be no roof structure changes to the building. It would really only minimally affect the ice house.”

Leaders face the challenge of maintaining its historically significant landmarks while building for the future, but it’s something every rapidly expanding town sees.

Commissioners were divided on a couple of issues regarding the plan, including the need for a stage and separate restrooms for indoor and outdoor activities.

Commissioner Danny Phillips asked staff about the park’s purpose and whether it had changed from initially being planned for a farmer’s market.

“My understanding that citizens approved the bond with this as a park," Commissioner Jeff Neely said. "This is a park.” 

The master plan for the park is still a work in progress, Town Manager Greg Ferguson said. 

“The plan could be scaled back, or changed and adapted,” he said.

Jaycocks agreed.

“We’re not to a cost estimate yet,” he said. “Once we get a cost estimate nailed down, we’ll know more. This could serve multiple purposes.”

Mayor Jill Swain was complimentary of the plan.

“I think this fits better with the ideas of what the board wanted,” she said.