City gives update on parks improvement project approved last year by Port Arthur voters

Published 12:40 am Friday, October 21, 2022

The start of three park improvement projects backed by voters in May 2021 could begin soon if an agreement between the city and a contractor is approved at Tuesday’s regular city council meeting.

Chandra Alpough, director of Parks and Recreation, said the City Council is scheduled to vote next week on approval to hire a company that will design a master plan, beginning with Adam’s Park on Sgt. Lucian Adams Drive.

“It will be a unified, city-wide park system master plan. We’re in that process now,” Alpough said. “With Adams Park…we are looking at that to be the ideal sports complex, because we want this to be the place where all the tournaments will be held. It’s in a great area with all the restaurants adjacent to the high school.”

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The plan to update Adams Park, Rose Hill Park and the Recreation and Senior Citizens Center is mostly funded through money from $3 million in sales tax revenue split up into $1 million each year for three years, as approved by voters.

If approved Tuesday, the master plan would address everything from mitigation issues to additional funding.

“We’re going to take an aggressive approach for that,” Alpough said. “We’re doing the studies; we’re doing our due diligence. We want to know everything we’re facing up front. So we’re going to be taking an aggressive approach.”

She said they’re hoping to start the same process with Rose Hill Park within the next two months, as it sits at the end of Woodworth Boulevard and serves as an entrance into the city.

The Recreation and Senior Citizens Center, which was formerly the Port Arthur YMCA on 9th Avenue, drew questions from councilmembers when first included for upgrades.

Councilman Kenneth Marks asked if renovating the building that is 60-plus years old would be less beneficial than starting from scratch.

Alpough, at the time, said creating a new facility was not out of the question.

The following upgrades and enhancements have been proposed, but are not solidified.

Adams Park

Suggested enhancements include a multi-sport complex, adding concession and restroom facilities, adding shaded event seating, upgrading to competition-level fields, improving the irrigation systems, adding athletic field lighting, a walking trail, a soccer complex and a cricket field.

Rose Hill Park

Upgrades would include a walking trail, family picnic areas, game tables, inclusive park features, portable bleachers and a stage, a multi-use field, a covered pavilion and changes to the parking area.

Recreation and Senior Center

Suggested enhancements for this facility include updating code and American Disabilities Act compliance, upgrading restrooms and locker rooms, modernizing the facility, additional workout rooms, adding a teen room, renovating the pool area and improving parking.