FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Have a question that isn’t answered here? Email us at contact@SaveLewisPark.org
Lewis Park is a 27.5 acre park near the heart of Fayetteville in Ward 2. It is mostly comprised of six full size soccer fields.
Ward 2 is undergoing a building boom. There is a lot of infill, brown lot, and green lot development with a combination of apartment complexes and single family houses. Without Lewis there will be a dearth of park land on that side of town and no ability to add new park land.
Additionally, the six soccer fields at Lewis represent 60% of the public soccer fields in Fayetteville. The new regional park, Mt. Kessler currently has three fields and Walker Park has one field. Both Walker and Mt. Kessler suffer from lack of parking.
From our understanding the University of Arkansas wants to list the land at the beginning of the year. Theoretically, they could sell it before that.
We have a chance to make our voice heard at the next University and City Hall Town & Gown Advisory Committee on Monday Nov 20 at 3pm at the Research Park on S School/Cato Springs.
Maybe. Right now the University of Arkansas is asking $4.1 million for the entire 27.5 acres. About $150000 per acre. We think that the city, university, local businesses, and grants could work together to lower that cost.
Additionally, if Lewis is lost, more fields will have to be purchased to replace them. That land will have a cost, plus what ever it takes to build the new park. If Lewis is saved, the only cost would be the purchase price as it is currently a park and already has bathrooms, concession stand, soccer fields, and parking lots. As a point of interest, the first phase of Mt. Kessler cost over $10.5 million and is projected to be more than $28 million at completion. The cost savings of keeping Lewis a park could be immense.
Originally, the University of Arkansas decided that they would take back the land after the lease/exchange with the city was over. Attempts to determine what the university would do with the land ranged from intramural fields to offices.
When the University of Arkansas wanted to use its own land for its own purposes, we were saddened that the public would lose Lewis, but understood — it was the university’s after all. Now that the university wants to sell the land we want to make sure it stays a park and isn’t developed. Hopefully, that means the city and university can come to an agreement.
There are those in the city that do want to purchase the land that Lewis is on. Unfortunately, the budget is not there right now as $3.75 million just went to help finish the first phase of Mt. Kessler. If the university had let the city know it was going to sell the land, instead of repossess it as it originally said, then perhaps the city could have purchased Lewis.
This is why we need to let the city of Fayetteville and the University of Arkansas know that the citizens want to save Lewis. This way the two entities can work out a mutual beneficial agreement to save Lewis.