Opportunity knocks when residents share their personal visions of what makes Rolla a great community. Our parks and recreation programs add to that hometown picture and we want you to contribute.
The Rolla Parks and Recreation Department will host its second open house, Tuesday, Feb. 28, at The Centre, Rolla’s Health and Recreation Complex, 1200 N. Holloway. Visit with our staff and we will take questions from the public at 10 a.m. to noon and from 5 to 7 p.m.
Informational displays will be up all day and will include various playground and water park designs and features, pictorial displays of many developed parks in Rolla and tennis courts and trails.
There will also be information on a possible dog park and various renovations being considered throughout the parks system. This is an opportunity for citizens to review, comment and vote for their interests and have input into possible projects.
Public support has already been instrumental in various parks improvement projects through the use of Prop. P funds, an initiative that Rolla voters passed in 2015 with nearly 70 percent approval of a new quarter-cent sales tax.
That new revenue stream for parks started Oct. 1, 2015, and will continue for eight years. It will then be reduced to three-sixteenths of one percent beginning Oct. 1, 2023.
Completed projects that benefited from Prop. P funds include paving work at Veterans, Green Acres, the O Highway parking lot for the Acorn Trial, and the Splash Zone and tennis courts; a memorial sidewalk at Veterans Park, shower and water heater work at Splash Zone, aerators for Ber Juan Pond, slides at Schuman, Green Acres and Breuer, and baseball pitching mounds.
Additionally, the Rolla City Council approved the latest expenditure of Prop P funds as the parks system will be moving forward with a new playground at Larry May Park, the area adjacent to the ballfield complex in Ber Juan.
Larry May will be the first of several hoped-for playground replacements being considered throughout the parks systems. Multiple proposals were submitted from companies that specialize in ADA compliant playground equipment. The winning design was recommended by the city park staff, the advisory board and given the OK by the council.
Larry May will feature a new expanded playground area that features multiple slides and climbing features. While some of the existing playground pieces will be replaced, the slide and swings outside the fenced in area will remain for the present.
Funds for this project will also come from a very generous donation program through the Rolla Junior Club, with the remainder from money raised by Prop P, courtesy of our supportive residents, who recognize the need to update our youth play structures in the city that are more than a decade old.
Preliminary work has already started. Progress will depend on the weather, with an estimated completion date in the late spring/early summer.
Other projects being considered include the resurfacing of the tennis courts in Ber Juan Park, Splash Zone work, renovation work at Buehler Park, new restrooms and signage throughout the parks system, adding to our existing trail system, batting cage improvements, skate park renovation, additional ballfields, fencing replacement and new scoreboards for the existing ballfields.
This is the second open house hosted by the parks and recreation department, following the first one last fall. We encourage everyone to stop by and help us plan the future of our city’s parks, trails, and cemetery. Rolla residents may also call 341-2386.