The construction on the Towne Green has a lot of people asking, “What’s going on over there?” To get the answer, I contacted Mayor Tom Witts and was fortunate enough to spend some time with him and get the latest information
The area now serving as the Towne Green was formerly a parking lot for the Kroger shopping center that occupied the area where City Hall is now located. When the new City Hall was constructed, the parking lot area was transformed into the Towne Green.
In 2010-2011 then Councilman Tom Witts and Councilwoman Barbara Bender started working on the concept of the Snellville Farmers Market and the Towne Green was the ideal spot for it. Obviously, the Towne Green is suitable for much more than the Farmers’ Market and although it has been the site of numerous concerts and festivals, the City Council envisioned a Towne Green that offered a nicer environment and more amenities.
One of the ideas was to build a permanent stage, but in 2012 the Council approved a portable stage. As it turns out, that stage has served Snellville well and has also seen use at Briscoe Park and other venues. It also has a relative small footprint, which leaves more green space available. And when it’s not needed and moved off the Green, even more green space is opened up.
So what are they doing now? Well after much planning for expanded use of the Towne Green, the current project will add a brick “knee wall” (approximately 28″ high) all the way around the Green. It will not only make the Green safer, but the wall will also provide seating area on most of its surface.
Another significant improvement is better access to electricity for vendors in the Snellville Farmers’ Market, for concerts and other events. Other improvements include additional landscaping, leveling of the grass surface and the addition of an interactive sundial in the middle of the Green. If you stand in middle of the sundial surface on a sunny day, your shadow will tell you what time it is.
Also part of the current Towne Green project are improvements to the Veterans Memorial Park, on the other side of Oak Road. The Snellville Arts Commission will dedicate the newly constructed Labyrinth on Saturday January 30th at 1:00 PM. A labyrinth is meant to be used as a meditation tool and they are often found outside churches and hospitals. It’s not meant to confuse or challenge walkers like a corn maze, but instead give them a winding path on which to contemplate and relax. I believe this will lend a more serene feel to our Veterans Memorial Park.
The labyrinth will be a seven-circuit model, or a Classical Greek structure and there are no walls or obstructions on the path. Work on both the Towne Green and Veterans Memorial Park are expected to be completed by May. When these projects are completed, we will have a first class Towne Green for the numerous events the city hosts every year.
Improvements on the Towne Green and Veterans Memorial Park are part of the lager project to create a vibrant Towne Center. Obviously, great things are happening in Snellville.