On May 12th, 2010, Jim Gallucci’s sculpture, “Immigrant Gate II” was installed at the Millbrook Exchange Park in North Raleigh. This sculpture is a great addition to an already multi-faceted park.The 12-foot-high powder-coated steel sculpture moved from it’s previous home near the Progress Energy Center for the Performing Arts downtown due to the opening of the Raleigh Convention Center. Jim Gallucci is responsible for other popular works in Raleigh, including the gates in front of the Marbles Kids’ Museum and the light towers in Raleigh’s City Plaza. There will be an official dedication of the sculpture in the summer.
Millbrook Exchange Park is probably best known for its swimming pool and its tennis center. A popular venue for area swim clubs, the pool was renovated in 2007 to include a bubble that allows year-round use. The nearby wading pool and spray-ground are seasonal. The tennis center offers 23 hard surface courts with lights as well as a pro-shop and a conference center.
Millbrook Exchange Park is home to Raleigh’s oldest off-leash dog park. The park is open to dogs from sunrise until the lights go out — usually around 10pm. The Friends of Millbrook Dog Park keeps up with events and updates of interest to area dog owners.
The community center at the Millbrook Exchange Park includes classrooms, basketball courts and a weight room. Just outside the community center is a sandy playground area. The park also includes 3 lighted ball fields and 2 basketball courts.
A new senior center is slated for completion at the park in November of 2011. Here’s a link to a rendering of the senior center and a map (PDF) that shows its placement within the site. This is one of two senior centers expected to open by the end of 2011.
You may recall that I posted in March about a new aquatic center that’s planned for the Buffalo Road Athletic Park. The aquatic center is scheduled to be completed in October of 2011. One of the goals for the new aquatic center is to be a destination for recreational swimming and free up some much-needed time at the Millbrook Exchange pool for swim teams and meets.
Insider tip: If you go to the park when there’s a swim meet, ball game or tennis match, it’s possible that you’re going to have a hard time finding parking. If you exit the park and turn right, Rainwater Road will be your first right. There’s a path entrance to the park on this road on the right-hand side. Look for the wooden barriers keeping vehicles off the trail. The path will lead to the community center and swimming pool.
UPDATE March 2011: One of the greenway entrances to the Millbrook Exchange Park from Rainwater has been closed. From the Raleigh web site:
The City of Raleigh Parks and Recreation Department is responsible for the maintenance and repair of a number of bridges, boardwalks and similar facilities throughout the parks system. The department also employs private consulting engineers to provide structural evaluations of these facilities to ensure that they are safe for public use.
It has been determined that the wooden bridge at the entrance into Millbrook Park off Rainwater Rd. near North Ridge Dr. is structurally deficient and needs to be removed. The department plans to remove this bridge in late February and permanently close this crossing of the creek. An alternate route will be established. Park users entering the park at this point on Rainwater Rd. will be diverted along the existing unpaved trail that connects to the paved path at the dog park. Signage will be provided directing users along this alternate route. Work is anticipated to begin (depending on weather) on February 21, 2011 and be completed by March 4, 2011.
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