Maricopa city leaders and official broke ground Saturday on the multigenerational center and regional park at the corner of John Wayne Parkway and Bowlin Road, which will be completed in 2014.
“We have come to the fun part of the challenge,” Mayor Christian Price said to the attendees. “The part where we get to see the results start to take place.”
The event, open to the public, brought out about 350 people despite the 30-degree temperatures.
The Maricopa High School Marching Band played throughout the event and there were performances from Desert Star Gymnastics, ATA Karate, Maricopa Dance and Fitness and a chance for attendees to learn Zumba.
There were also food stations giving out complementary hot dogs, popcorn, cotton candy and other treats.
Price addressed the audience and said breaking ground on the center and park is another example of how Maricopa is growing and thanked the attendees for their contribution.
“It costs us each a little something; it’s a bit of a sacrifice,” he said. “But that’s the nature of a growing city. We all have to pitch in and do our part.”
City Manager Brenda Fischer told the audience the center and park will draw people from near and far to Maricopa.
“We’re going to hold events here that will put Maricopa even more on the map,” she said.
Maricopa resident Slavica Kalnasy said she’s excited to participate in more community activities, such as concerts, she hopes will be held at the facilities.
“It’s especially exciting to see something on this side of the tracks,” she said. “We’ve been waiting forever for to see something on this side of the tracks.”
Fischer said the center and park will benefit the city economically.
“I predict that all these developers that are adjacent to us are going to start touting this park in their marketing materials,” she said.
Development Project Manager Brad Hinton told the audience the city purchased approximately 140 acres for the project.
“We will be developing 110-120 acres,” he said.
The regional park plans show designated areas for future commercial- and private-owner parcel development.
Kalnasy said this is a concern for longtime residents like her and her husband.
“We see ‘future commercial’ areas here for so long in different spots that never come into fruition,” she said. “We really hope those spots will be taken up with real businesses that will help contribute to the community.”The regional park’s amenities include a 5-acre lake, an amphitheater, horseshoe pits, eight multi-use fields, a playground, dog parks, a skate park and much more.
The multigenerational center has a track, fitness room, dance rooms, classrooms that can be used for a variety of activities, gymnasiums and an attached aquatics center.
Price ended his speech with his favorite quote from Alexander the Great: “That which does not grow, rots.”
“The City of Maricopa is not rotting, it’s growing,” he said.