Task Force Members meet to discuss plans for Westside Regional Park. Abigail Brooke/The Commuter.

The Future for Westside Regional Park

The Westside Regional Park Task Force spent the evening of Feb. 20 as they often do – discussing, debating and deciding the future of a city-owned property off of Butterfly Lane. This evening in particular, however, the committee discussed the current working layout of the park, and the possibility of rearranging. 

After reviewing possible plans and long-term goals, Frank Strakonsky, a Frederick County resident proposed incorporating an indoor track into the already expected stadium. While the park does currently feature multiple walking trails throughout the property, Strakonsky said that especially in winter months, an indoor athletic space would be valuable to the community. According to Strakonsky, Frederick county already has 10 accessible outdoor tracks but none that are indoor, and that to have an accessible indoor track would be a draw for senior citizens in the area. 

“A lot of people want a track,” said Donna Kuzemchek, liaison to the aldermen. “they want a real track, that’s not just a request from the people around here but all throughout the county.” 

Chuck Munn of Hood College, however, had a different view. He said that despite the appeal of an indoor walking space, building tracks is expensive, and the stadium needs to be focused on bringing in outside groups for events and tournaments for revenue. After a few minutes of discussion, Bob Smith, Deputy Director of Parks and Recreation of the City of Frederick presented a question to the board. 

“Well, this is the eight-million-dollar question,” said Smith. “Is the focus of this project to be a facility for the people of the city, or is it to bring in revenue?” 

This prompted a discussion among all task force members, about what the real end-goal should be, the budget, and possible rearrangements that could be made to accommodate the desires of all the members. 

“What we’ve heard over and over again from other facilities like this,” said Melisa Muntz of the tourism council. “is that if we’re going to do this, we have to go all out. The biggest regret we’ve heard from all these other parks has been that they wish they did everything bigger, or that they did more.” 

The project will still be extensive, though. The park takes up 130.86 acres and will host at least 11 multi-purpose sports fields, as well as a 5k walking trail. An indoor pool and weight room will also be available. Kuzemchek said that once the park goes in, realty prices in the area will double. 

“That area is a great economic driver and that’s been proven many, many times,” said Kuzemcheck “but if you look at properties along Carroll Creek and what they’re worth, you can see just how beneficial something like this can be for an area.” 

Skip to toolbar