GAI has been selected by Seminole County, Florida to lead the design and engineering of the planned Rolling Hills Community Park. One of several recent examples in which community residents voted to fund civic improvement through a self-imposed tax, the park will be located on the site of the former Rolling Hills Golf Course, which was purchased by Seminole County in 2018 with the intention of repurposing the entire 110-acre property as a public park with a variety of activities and improvements. In 2020, GAI’s Community Solutions Group (CSG) worked with Seminole County and the surrounding neighborhoods to create the Rolling Hills Community Park Master Plan.
“The Rolling Hills Community Park Master Plan is a prime example of how the multidisciplinary makeup of GAI’s CSG practice comes together to address the range of considerations meant to successfully serve the needs of a broad community,” said Pete Sechler, PLA, AICP, MBA, who leads GAI’s CSG Business Sector. As prime consultant going forward, the implementation role of GAI’s CSG will include landscape architecture, civil engineering, environmental enhancement, and wayfinding signage as well as coordination of subconsultants. CSG will lead public involvement efforts and will provide construction observation services for each phase of implementation.
The current Phase I program includes more than 4 miles of pedestrian and bicycle trails, along with associated trailheads that connect 11 distinct areas featuring a variety of visitor experiences. Design elements will include primary and secondary trails intended to be ADA-compliant, trailheads, and trail amenities; parking areas; playgrounds; restroom buildings; pavilions; boardwalk/pier; site structures such as pedestrian bridges and/or culverts; landscape improvements; and wayfinding and other required signage. Design will also be coordinated to connect to the regional Seminole County Trail System, as well as adjacent traffic-calming improvements within the neighborhood.
Future phases include a wide variety of additional park amenities and environmental enhancements. Each increment of development will facilitate solutions for park design, circulation, stormwater and drainage, and environmental enhancement that build toward the long-term vision of a fully integrated, environmentally sustainable park. Once complete, Rolling Hills Community Park will provide a variety of active and passive recreation opportunities, enhance area connectivity, and serve as a destination location hosting special events in Seminole County. “GAI’s CSG practice is all about people,” said Sechler. “Our overriding mission is to help create authentic places that enhance quality of life for community residents. In the case of Rolling Hills Park, community residents have spoken clearly about their priorities, and we take that as a very inspiring mandate.”
GAI’s conceptual designs for Rolling Hills Community Park can be viewed on the project website, which was also designed and delivered by GAI’s CSG as the platform for online community engagement and information during the challenging summer and fall of 2020.