Sugar Hill sets rules for park

SUGAR HILL -- With its first park opening in more than 30 years scheduled for 11 a.m. Saturday, the Sugar Hill City Council at its monthly meeting Monday night ratified the agreement renters will sign to use Gary Pirkle Park.

Like typical park rental agreements, Sugar Hill's one-page agreement defined conditions for use of its 50-acre facility at Suwanee Dam and Austin Garner Roads, whose marquee feature is 255,000 feet of synthetic turf, reportedly the largest such surface in the Southeast.

Rental of the park's three synthetic soccer/football fields will be $50 per hour during the day and $75 with light usage at night. The two natural grass fields will be $25 hourly without lights and $50 with. Seasonal league agreements, such as those for the Atlanta Fire United, will be negotiated individually. Additionally, tournaments that charge spectator admission must give the city a still-undetermined percentage.

Two park's other marquee feature, two 60-by-40-foot pavilions near the synthetic fields, can be rented for $75 daily, and like the fields, require a $100 refundable deposit.

"They did a phenomenal job on those (pavilions)," said Mayor Gary Pirkle, the park's namesake. "They're unlike any other you'll see at a park."

City Manager Bob Hail touted the environmental friendliness of Pirkle, the city's first park since E.E. Robinson opened in the 1970s on Level Creek Road, a half-mile south of downtown Sugar Hill.

"You'd be proud to put those pavilions anywhere," he said. "We thought uniqueness would be important."

Separately, the council:

* Heard proposals from Alpharetta-based architects Robertson Loia Roof and Norcross-based Wakefield Beasley & Associates to design their $8.4 million downtown city hall at West Broad Street and Temple Drive. The latter three of the five finalist firms are scheduled to present their proposals at the council's work session April 5.

* Groundbreaking for Sugar Hill's downtown street scape is scheduled to begin this spring, and construction of city hall this fall.

* Voted to begin the Sugar Hill Soccer League, the first soccer league to bear the city's name, under the direction of established soccer league enthusiast Mike Morgan. The league will be for potentially several hundred children age 8 and under and share use of Pirkle Park with the Atlanta Fire United league for older players.