GERMANTOWN, Tenn. (localmemphis.com) – In a packed Germantown Parks Commission meeting Wednesday night, commissioners agreed to give up a little more than 24 acres of Houston Levee Park to the Germantown Municipal School District. In return, GMSD would have to give the parks commission 15 acres of land it owns behind Forrest Hill Elementary.
Jason Manual, superintendent of GMSD, said Houston High School needs the acreage of Houston Levee Park for its girls’ softball program. Houston Levee Park is directly behind the high school.
“We always want to have comparable services,” Manual said. “We want to make sure the same facilities we have for the boys we have for the girls, and there’s legislation that requires that; Title IX.”
Manual said the school district has already set aside $1.8 million to refurbish the already existing softball fields at the park, so they are up to standard.
“We could build a turf room for our girls program, a locker room for our girls program right next to a field, which would take some of the minor adjustments at the current field,” Manuel said.
Neighbors near where the parks commission would obtain land behind the elementary school expressed concerns over the possibility of an elevated water tower being built on that land. Jason Huisman, assistant city administrator for the City of Germantown, said it’s not set in stone that a water tower could be built there.
“That is a site that’s under consideration for an elevated water tower and that decision still needs to be made going forward,” Huisman said.
If the parks commission allows public works to build a water tower on that location to facilitate the growing community, Huisman said it would only take up a sliver of the 15 acres.
“Twelve of the fifteen acres would be park land according to that survey and three could be a public utility, an elevated water tower,” Huisman said.
The public can decide that the remaining acres of that location can be left as just trees or developed park space.
The next step is the Germantown Board of Mayor and Aldermen vote at their meeting Monday.