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Community forum seeks public input for Port Arthur’s Rose Hill Park improvements

Port Arthur residents on Thursday will have the opportunity to voice their wishes for Rose Hill Park — one of three approved for renovations in May by voters.

The proposition aimed at improving Rose Hill Acres Park, Adams Park and the Recreation and Senior Citizens Center was approved by 77.8 percent of voters. The project will be paid for by reallocated funds from the Economic Development Corporation, paid out in $1 million per year over three years. Funds, however, will not be released until October.

In the meantime, officials with the Parks and Recreation Department are working to present potential plans for the parks and gather community input to make them as user-friendly and functional as possible.

The meeting will be Thursday at 6 p.m. at the Amos J. Evans Multi-Purpose Building, 1308B 9th Avenue.

“We do have preliminary sketches with ideas we’ve received so citizens could have a visual of what it could look like,” Director Chandra Alpough said. “Right now we’re working to get the designs right.”

When presented to the council prior to elections, the plan for the three parks included:

  • Adding 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 to Adams Park, located at 3401 S. Sgt. Lucian Adams Drive. The 47-acre park already has three baseball fields, one football field, four softball fields, a tennis court, a playground and a pavilion.
  • Adding 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 at Rose Hill Park, located at 200 Woodworth Blvd. The 15-acre park currently has a tennis court, adult exercise system, soccer goals and a playground.
  • 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 at the Recreation and Senior Citizens Center. Located at 1308 9th Avenue, the 20,000 square-foot facility was formerly home to the Port Arthur YMCA. But there is a possibility that it could be rebuilt instead of renovated.

However, Alpough said, these plans are not set in stone and are contingent on community feedback.

While all three will have public meetings, Rose Hill Acres is first largely for its location.

“It’s one of the gateway parks going towards the entrance of the downtown area,” Alpough said. “It’s a very significant park. It is extremely utilized, and we want to provide the citizens with something they can enjoy.”

Mayor Thurman Bartie previously told Port Arthur Newsmedia the renovations to Adams Park were exciting for its addition to downtown redevelopment and possibility of opening Port Arthur up to more economic benefits.