By Jim Tortolano/Garden Grove Journal
Dozens of residents of Stanton turned out Saturday morning to try their hands at planning the city’s newest park.
At the invitation of the city council, locals attended a park-planning session held at the site of the former Mary Perez Elementary School, located at 10660 Western Ave. The closed school was sold to Stanton by the Magnolia School District for $25 million.
Although all five members of the Stanton City Council were on hand , the discussion was led by David Volz, principal of David Volz Design, a firm which has already designed two parks in Stanton – the Veteran’s Memorial Park and the Harry Dotson Park.
“What we’re going to do today is invite you all to become park planners and landscape architects,” said Volz. “You’re going to tell us what you think the park should be like.”
The parcel, which includes roughly 11.6 acres of land, is mostly open field with some classroom buildings on the western side. The site is now used as a golf driving range and a church. Stanton’s municipal tennis courts are also located there.
The group met at the tennis courts, did a walk-around of the site and then returned to the courts where tables with “blank” park maps were laid out for residents to draw in their ideas and layouts.
In addition to the $25 million in bonds the city is issuing to pay for the land, Stanton has $6 million in state grant money to turn the school site into a modern park.
Among the possibilities suggested for the park were baseball, softball, soccer and football fields, a water feature, restrooms, a youth or teen center, parking around the perimeter of the park instead of a lot facing Western Avenue, even an equestrian center.
Volz estimated that construction on a new park could start as early as 2013. “It may seem slow,” said Volz, “but with all the approvals and processes that are required, that’s really pretty fast.”
The new park, as yet unnamed, would be the largest city-owned recreational space. Stanton Park, for instance, is on land leased from Southern California Edison under power lines near Katella Avenue and Beach Boulevard.