Possibilities at La Center's Holley Park

Residents asked if they want skate park, aquatics center

By Marissa Harshman, Columbian health reporter


photoMadelyn Holmes, 6, climbs on the play structure at Holley Park in La Center on a recent sunny afternoon.


Get involved

• The city has two surveys on its website — one for adults, one for kids — where community members can offer input for the master plan. Take the survey at http://ci.lacenter.wa.us.

• The city council has work sessions scheduled for 6 p.m. March 3 and 21 at City Hall, 214 E. Fourth St., to discuss the Holley Park master plan.

• The city is hosting a community open house from 6 to 8 p.m. March 30 at the Community Center, 1000 E. Fourth St., to present possible projects.

La Center families may one day be able to head to Holley Park to take a dip in a community swimming pool.

Area kids may be able to hop on their skateboards, cruise down to the park and spend the afternoon at a new skate park.

And local organizations and residents could have a new community center in which to congregate and hold events.

All three are ideas La Center officials are exploring as part of a Holley Park master plan. Now officials are turning to the community for feedback.

The city council has a couple of work sessions scheduled during the next few weeks, and the city will hold a community open house at the end of the month. The city also has Holley Park master plan surveys for adults and youth posted on its website.

The surveys ask questions about residents’ use of aquatic centers and parks and participation in athletic programs, community classes and indoor recreation activities.

Another survey will be posted on the city’s website in April. That survey will ask residents how much they are willing to pay for services and how they believe projects should be funded.

Through the various public meetings and surveys, city officials hope to get a clearer idea of what community members want to see in their park, said Bart Stepp,city engineer and project manager.

“There’s nothing set in stone,” he said. “We’re just trying to get something that works for the best amount of people.”

The city purchased the 10-acre park, 1000 E. Fourth St., from Lawrence Holley and Joyce Reed Holley for $10 in 1991. The city officially changed the park’s name from City Park to Holley Park in July 2010.

Currently, Holley Park has a kids play structure, basketball and tennis courts, plenty of green space, a small community center and a walking path. The park is also home to Michael J. Nolan Fields, which has four Little League fields and a concession stand.

The aquatic center, skate park and revamped community center are the current proposals, but Stepp said city officials are open to hearing other ideas as well.

Once the city gathers feedback, the council will decide what improvements to make to the park. Depending on what is selected, the city may need to purchase additional land, Mayor Jim Irish said. In April, the city will select a project, or projects, and complete cost estimates.

The city council budgeted $80,000 to prepare the master plan. Additional funding to complete the engineering work and construct the project would be included in future budgets, Stepp said.

No matter what the city decides to do, Irish said the ball fields are off limits.

“One thing that is very sacred in Holley Park is our ball fields,” he said. “The Michael Nolan ball fields will not be touched in any way, shape or form.”

The goal of the master plan, Irish said, is to give people of all ages places to recreate in town.

“It’s going to be fun,” he said. “I’m really excited.”