About 7,500 square feet of turf was installed on the north side of the park in the center of Asheville last week, according to Donna Clark, the park's spokeswoman. Nearly 18,000 square feet more was installed Tuesday on the area known as Roger McGuire green, in front of the Buncombe County Courthouse and Asheville City Hall. General contractor ValleyCrest Landscape Valley Development is overseeing the work as part of a $7.5 million contract for the bulk of remaining park construction.
An underground irrigation system turned on Tuesday began watering the grass, a special blend designed to withstand foot traffic, Clark said. While paved areas around the grass will be opened to the public in a few weeks, the grassy areas will remain off-limits to at least until the end of the year.
"The next four or five months are pretty critical in terms of getting it established," Clark said. "We just need everybody to buy into that. It's a long-term health issue" for the sod.
On Thursday, the park will see another construction milestone with the scheduled installation of a giant brass ring that while encircle a pile of big boulders on Pack Square. Asheville sculptor Hoss Haley chiseled the boulders and fabricated the ring to create a distinctive fountain. Patton Avenue at Pack Square will be closed from 6 to 10 a.m. for the work. The ring will be loaded onto a truck at his West Asheville studio and slowly trucked into downtown.
The 6.5-acre Pack Square Park is a $20 million project that's been under construction since ground was broken in 2005.
— Jason Sandford, multimedia editor
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