Jim Burress, director of Parks and Recreation, presented a plan before the Infrastructure committee to turn former Cahoon Park Pool complex into a venue, complete with the Parks and Recreation office, a newly developed pavilion structure, and the sunken garden for weddings and other community events to rent.
The Cahoon Pavilion has been discussed by Parks and Recreation Commission prior, which now Infrastructure has been asked to review and consider sending the conceptual plan to full council on March 15. Councilor Caleb Grant made a motion for the conceptual plan to go before full council, which Councilor Sanchez seconded. The motion passed unanimously with a vote of 4 to 0.
Burress said the concept is to demolish the pool, build the pavilion, and be able to rent the building that currently houses the Parks and Recreation, once Parks and Recreation office relocates to the new Recreation and Aquatic Center. The building has amenities like the existing kitchen and plumbing for future use. Burres said the pavilion would provide shade, fans, picnic tables and restrooms for business meetings, family reunion, or barbeque. A larger parking lot would be built where the pool building stands and Spring River Recreation Trail (bike trail) would snake along the river.
“The idea is to find more amenities for the people that live here,” he said.
Buress said this plan provides an alternative with amenities to the Roswell Civic & Convention Center set to open in 2019.
City Councilor Juan Oropesa asked about the cost, but Burress said there is no estimate at the moment since all that is needed is a conceptual plan at this point in time. Burress said he and his 17 member staff and potentially New Mexico Department of Transportation and Bureau of Land Management trainees to assist with some of the work. Parks and Recreation will have an idea of a budget once the plan is approved by the public and the council.
City Councilor Savino Sanchez asked about the music venues in the summer and Burress said the stage could potentially sit on the blacktop, while the public can sit in the shade and watch from afar.
“We’d keep the diving board tower and put some brass plaques on it,” Burress said. “I’ve got Gina researching history — we all like history — like the riverboats. There used to be a zoo and it used to be a pool, so we don’t forget what used to be there.”
Chair Jeanine Corn Best reiterated that the committee’s decision is to give its blessing to the conceptual plan before full council and the public still has time to share ideas and concerns. City Manager Joe Neeb confirmed a future public session.
“I know we need to take it to the public to make sure that they are OK with it,” Best said. “So we’ll have a couple of public meetings — like a month out.”
Other topics that are moving to full council include requests for proposals for new fleet maintenance for the fire and police departments, property sales, and a future pavement condition survey.
City reporter Alison Penn can be reached at 575-622-7710, ext. 205, or at firstname.lastname@example.org.