Friday, Jan. 22, 2010 | 6 a.m.
While much of the commercial development sector sits idle, the Henderson Parks and Recreation Department is staying busy.
“We have a number of projects, 20 or so, still in the works. Some were approved in the past several years, others are just coming down the pipeline,” said Kim Becker, a spokeswoman for the department.
Its focal point these days is the 160-acre Heritage Park, at the corner of Burkholder Boulevard and Racetrack Road. In year two of a 10-year master plan, the department recently had a soft opening for its $11.7 million senior facility. The $14.5 million aquatics complex is scheduled for a February opening. Rafael Construction is the contractor on both facilities, while Carpenter Sellers designed the 29,800-square-foot senior center and SH Architecture designed the 43,800-square-foot aquatics site.
A $1 million contribution from the Clark County School District helped fund the aquatics center. In exchange, the city will allow area school swim teams to practice and hold meets at the site. The facility will serve as a replacement site for the Lauren L. Williams aquatics center, which was located on nearby Basic High School’s campus and was closed a few years ago. The aquatics complex is in line to receive a LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) gold certification, while the senior center will likely see a silver rating.
Heritage Park’s next phase will include walking trails, eight baseball fields, 13 multi-use fields, sand volleyball courts, bocce courts and the city’s largest dog park.
“We find either people love them or hate them,” Becker said of the many area dog parks being built. “They are definitely popular. Any time we talk about opening a new park and ask people what they are looking for, inevitably they will be asking for a dog park.”
Construction of the next phase should run from March through October of this year, Becker added. Design Workshop provided design services on the upcoming Heritage phase.
Arroyo Grande Sports Complex
Located at 298 Arroyo Grande Boulevard, Arroyo Grande Sports Complex is undergoing $11.3 million in improvements. Some of the work includes the installation of a BMX park, a dog park, additional basketball courts, rejuvenation of turf on its nine baseball/softball fields and the installation of a pedestrian crossing for the Pittman Wash, which will connect the north and south ends of the park. A future pedestrian under-crossing is also in the works, which will allow pedestrians and park vehicles to access the future Cornerstone Lake Park, to the south of Arroyo Grande. Soft surface trails within Pittman Wash and trailheads are also being added.
Wiser Construction is working on playing field renovations. Contractors for other parts of the project are still to be determined, said Becker, who was unable to give a date for completion yet.
Madeira Canyon Park/Amador Vista Park
Madeira Canyon Park, located at 2390 Democracy Drive, opened to the Henderson public in May 2009. The site is a developer-built turnkey park constructed by Pulte Homes.
The $10.6 million, 19-acre park is quickly gaining popularity among Henderson residents. Its multi-use fields are benefiting a variety of sports organizations and sports enthusiasts, said Becker. The park also includes baseball fields, a shaded playground, horseshoe pits, barbecues, a splash pad and shaded picnic areas.
“I think it’s one of the most beautiful parks in our system,” Becker added.
Amador Vista Park, a $2.5 million facility, opened late last year. Becker refers to it as a “pocket park” that came about as a result of a land swap between owner Rich McDonald and the city, which was encouraged by area residents demanding a park. The fice-acre park has a half basketball court, a dog park, shaded playground, splash pad and picnic shelters
About 80 to 90 percent of the park project funding comes from Southern Nevada Public Lands Management Act funds, Becker said. The money comes from past Bureau of Land Management auctions. A portion of the money raised from those auctions must go toward public park projects. With funds tight these days, Becker said her department is applying for smaller funding amounts and focusing more on improving its existing parks instead of building large new ones.
“It’s more about reinvesting in what we already have,” she added.