Kate Hogan, Director of Economic Development for Centerville, talks about Center Park and what's coming.
Residence: Warner Robins
Q: What stage is Center Park at Centerville at now?
A: We’re excited to be in the budgeting process for fall construction at the park right now, which will bring significant site development. We’re looking at doing restrooms and a pavilion we can use and that can be rented by people. It’s moving right along.
Q: When was it city council members gave a thumbs up to proceed with the park?
A: Officially, we began work on it when council adopted the plan for it in 2016. It’s a multiphase project and we’re at Phase I.
Q: Any idea what the final cost will be for all phases?
A: There are so many things up in the air right now, I’m not comfortable giving it a final figure. Afterwards, we’ll have a better idea for Phase II and III and the future.
Q: Are city leaders still resolved to see it through?
Q: Is there a way for residents to see park plans and information?
A: We have our town center development plan on our website and plans are also available at City Hall. Our website is at www.centervillega.org. You can also go there under Events and get specific dates and times for things going on at the park. And go to Departments and then Economic Development to get more information about the park.
Q: What’s the overall purpose and mission of the park?
A: We really believe it can be an incredible resource to bring our community together, all of Houston County, and add to the quality of life here. Center Park is already a great place for families and activities and we want to continue to grow it and have it bring a greater sense of place to our community.
Q: Is it part of a larger downtown development effort?
A: Yes. Center Park at Centerville is the cornerstone of development downtown. It serves the purpose as just a fun place, it will give that greater sense of place to our area and we also see it spurring private investment, particularly to seven acres adjacent to the park property. From the beginning, the park was part of a master plan to be implemented over 10 years and part of the plan was to get it going as a passive park that could be enjoyed right away.
Q: What’s Center Park at Centerville like right now?
A: It’s an open, manicured greenspace. Seven acres of usable greenspace and we’re hoping for more as time goes on.
Q: What sorts of things can someone do there on any given day?
A: It’s an open public area people can go to walk, kick a soccer ball or throw a football or baseball around, a Frisbee—I mean, you can do about anything anyone can do in an open, manicured greenspace.
Q: You’ve developed a number of special, organized events at the park already, especially during the summer. What are some?
A: Yeah, there’s a lot going on. Some of the things we have are Food Truck Fridays the first Friday of each month and Popcorn in the Park on the third Saturdays. These are family films and popcorn is free, plus some people bring dinner and eat out on the grounds. First and third Saturdays we have Centerville Market Days, which is our farmers’ market, and also Homegrown: Yoga in the Park those days. Some of those days we also have Goat Yoga.
Q: Real goats?
A: Real goats. It’s just a fun thing where kids and grownups can hang out with goats at the park.
Q: What have been comments about the park?
A: Last year at the end of the season we put out surveys for our farmers’ market and movies and got a lot of good feedback. People are excited about what’s going on and the events at the park. We’ve also been able to work with Perry helping them implement Food Truck Fridays. We want the park and what we’re doing to benefit all of the county community and all of Middle Georgia, really. We’ve never seen it as just for us.
Q: When complete, what are a couple of the features and activities you have planned?
A: We’re hoping to see a 1,500-person amphitheater to use for events and concerts, and we’re looking at having a splash pad for kids to play in. We’ll open up another open greenspace area and have plans there for quite a few other activities and activity areas.
Q: Will your Fourth of July celebration as part of the county-wide cooperative effort be at the park?
A: Our Independence Day Celebration will be near the park at City Hall again this year. It will be June 29. We’re keeping it there primarily because of the availability of electricity. Next year we do hope to have it at Center Park.
Answers may have been edited for length and clarity. Compiled by Michael W. Pannell. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.