Construction of the city’s new Skyland Park has been hampered by rain and more rain in recent months, but the park is slowly shaping up with sand volleyball pits being dug out and a huge granite wall surrounding them going up.

Plans were to complete the 4-acre park in January, but rain delays and other inclement weather has slowed the process, moving a completion and open date closer to May, according to city officials.

Danthony Arnold, one of the construction crew members, checks out the slides in the playground area of the park. (Dyana Bagby)

The park, designed by GreenbergFarrow, is already being touted by Skyland Brookhaven, a townhome development next door to the park. Recent TV ads for the townhomes feature renderings of the new park as an amenity for those living there. The townhomes are priced in the high $400,000 range.

A recent walk-through of the park construction site showed many paved sidewalks throughout the area, several pieces of playground equipment already installed, and the frame of a new restroom. A shade structure that includes a solar panel to be used as a charging station is already standing.

The main features of the park include the two sand volleyball courts, two picnic shelters, the new restroom facility, an open field, a large and small dog park and a natural playground area under a canopy of trees in the northeast corner of the park.

The frame of the new restroom. (Dyana Bagby)

Adjacent to the park, construction of the new 900-seat John Lewis Elementary School is also ongoing. Plans are to open the school in fall of 2019. The school is being built to help alleviate overcrowding at nearby schools in the Cross Keys Cluster, including Dresden, Montclair and Woodward elementary schools.

The city and the DeKalb County School District worked out a land deal in 2016 to make way for the new park and new school.

DeKalb Schools purchased the 10-acre Skyland Park site from the city for $4.7 million for its new John Lewis Elementary School. DeKalb Schools also purchased the vital records building from the state for $2.8 million and then deeded that 4-acre property over to the city for a new Skyland Park.

Photos by Dyana Bagby

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