Master plan for 32 acre land in Athens releases called Pryor Park

Published: Dec. 13, 2021 at 10:45 PM CST
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

ATHENS, Ala. (WAFF) - The city of Athens could be getting some new upgrades. Like a plan to tear down old buildings to put in several new amenities on 32 acres of land on Pryor Street.

“We have been developing the central park for some time now. It is 32 acres of an old chicken plant,” said Mayor of Athens Ronnie Marks.

Pryor Park was the talk of the Athens City Council meeting.

Mayor Marks says this will be a massive 13 phase project.

“We will start putting money together in each phase that we build. Most likely start with the children’s playground, splash pad area, and build out from there,” said Marks.

The project doesn’t even have a clear price tag just yet. Meanwhile, some say it’s not what the people want.

“We said we didn’t want any development down there period. We said we just wanted a park,” said one Athens resident.

Mayor Marks says if you do not like one spot in Pryor Park, there is a lot left to love.

“One person that was here tonight that talked about being unhappy with it was the additional housing, the high-end housing on the west side of the park. There is still at least about 24 acres,” said Marks.

Happy or unhappy, the council wants to make one thing clear.

“There has been no approval of any plan for anybody’s park. There has been no money allocated for anything,” said Athens City Councilman Frank Travis.

Another piece of land in Athens that has been in the conversation before, the old Miller Public School site.

Folks who live in District 3 say it’s an eyesore and needs to be taken down. Travis says they are working on it.

“It technically is not abandoned. It is used for storage,” said Travis.

Travis says since it is being used it cannot just be torn down, so there are two options.

“We can work with the owner or proprietor to see if they can bring it up to par so the community can be happy with it. Prior to that that if the owners do not want to cooperate then there is a legal process we have to take,” said Travis.

Councilman Travis says there is some funding that could potentially be used to help restore the old Miller Public School. The city is trying to avoid legal matters because that can be very expensive. As for Pryor park, The city is taking one step at a time.

It is going to be a long process and the conversation will continue on what will be best for everyone.

Copyright 2021 WAFF. All rights reserved.