Saturday, Oct. 3, 2009 | 1:55 a.m.
Beyond the Sun
Residents of one of Henderson’s oldest neighborhoods got a look Thursday night at the city’s plan to update their park.
During the recent year, the city has focused on making improvements to the aging Pittman neighborhood, which is generally located east of Boulder Highway between Sunset and Warm Springs roads.
In that time, Henderson has opened the North Police Substation on Sunset Road and held a neighborhood party and two neighborhood meetings to discuss ways to improve Wells Park. The changes unveiled Thursday night for the park are expected to be complete by June 2011.
The park’s upgrade has a budget of a little more than $1 million, which will be funded by redevelopment money. Pittman and Wells Park are located within the city’s Eastside Redevelopment area, where the city assesses special taxes to pay for improvements to the area.
“What we’re really trying to go for is to create more active spaces that the neighbors could come enjoy and feel safe,” said Henderson Planner Derek Allen, who is leading the project to improve Wells Park.
Among the additions planned are a splash pad next to the pool for small children, a slide for the pool, a small skate park, a picnic pavilion, a game plaza, a tot lot, a rock climbing area, a fitness trail and a soccer field (located within the outfield of the existing baseball diamond).
Allen said the project would also include additional lights to improve safety and security.
“For this particular area, (the park upgrade) is very much needed,” Allen said. “The Pittman area is one of the early neighborhoods in Henderson, and like our other early areas, like Townsite, over time it needs a little bit of help.”
Allen said the city originally planned to add additional pocket parks in the area, but that residents overwhelmingly requested that the city focus its efforts on improving the park they already had.
“This is one way we can use our redevelopment funds to bring life back to this neighborhood and pride back to this neighborhood,” Allen said.
Residents said they appreciated the city’s efforts to improve their neighborhood.
“Combined with the new police station, (the new park) is going to make a big difference in this neighborhood,” Pittman resident Chela Natzel said. “It gets a little rough around here at night, so the lighting will be good to have.”
Natzel’s daughter, Jazmin Guitron, said she hopes the changes will keep vagrants from congregating in the park.
“There’s not a lot of them, but there are a couple that hang around,” she said.
Parents and children alike were glad to see that the Boys and Girls Club in Wells Park would also be expanding as part of the park’s changes.
“It’s wonderful,” Natzel said. “Keeping the Boys and Girls Club here and making the improvements is never a bad thing. The Boys and Girls Club rocks – it’s a great place for children to be.”
Natzel said she has lived in Pittman for five years, and that she takes pride in her neighborhood.
“It has that small community feel, more so than Las Vegas,” she said.