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Decatur conducting survey of options to redevelop former United Methodist Children’s Home

Decatur slideshow

Decatur conducting survey of options to redevelop former United Methodist Children’s Home

The former United Methodist Children's Home campus in Decatur. The campus is now called Legacy Park. Photo by Dan Whisenhunt


Following Monday’s unveiling of three plans to redevelop the former United Methodist Children’s Home campus, the city has published a survey for residents to provide feedback on those plans.

To take the survey, click here. .

The city purchased the 77-acre property last year for $40 million.

Here’s a recap of each proposal, provided by Decaturnext.com.


Option 1 is best described as an effort to maintain and augment the pastoral nature of the campus in line with its existing character. Existing sports fields remain and get refurbished. Diverse housing options (28 units at various levels of affordability) are added but get discretely tucked into the edges of the property. Trails allowing for cross country running, easy strolls, or bicycling weave their way throughout, connecting a playground, an arboretum, the community garden, a small amphitheater, and the lake and forests of the conservation easement with the East Decatur Greenway.


Option 2 brings the action. Though it requires the greatest level of up-front capital costs, it also delivers the highest level of returns, meeting some frequently articulated community needs head on in ways that can be monetized for their long-term sustainability.

Foremost are two new athletics facilities — a track and field facility, and a multiple-court tennis and pickleball complex. Included within their designs are the complementing elements that make competitive-level sports facilities viable — particularly large-format lighting, bleachers, and a substantial parking lot to accommodate users.

Cross country gets a specific trail that winds its way past a new multipurpose field and throughout the property. Housing is also a component, matching the site’s greater intensity with 61 units, also at various levels of affordability.


Option 3 focuses most heavily on using the property to deliver affordable housing opportunities. Envisioned with 128 units in a variety of formats, it orients the bulk of them in a pocket village at the southwestern corner of the site, adjacent to a reconfigured Katie Kerr.

Existing ballfields become less structured as open greenspace while trails continue to wind throughout the property. The small amphitheater, comparable to Option 1, is also included.

The options will be discussed at the City Commission work session on May 7 at 6:30 p.m. It will be held at City Hall, located at 509 North McDonough Street. All meetings are open to the public.