Moving the Val Shearer Equestrian Center to Hesperia Lake Park would be a win-win for all who use Hesperia Recreation and Park District facilities, according to district administrator Cal Camara.
"The day is going to come when this [current equestrian facility] is going to have to be moved or the current one downsized,"Camara said Wednesday night at the district's first of five park planning community meetings. "This is an opportunity in my opinion. We will get a better equestrian center and an opportunity build new facilities for kids at Lime Street. I'm kind of excited about it."
The opportunity has one catch, however: The district must win a state park grant of up to $5 million. The non-matching grants, which are part of a State Assembly bill, will be awarded to the districts with the most effective pitches.
Under the plan, the district would build a new equestrian facility for approximately $100,000 in a currently vacant portion of Hesperia Lake Park. By vacating Lime Street Park, the district could spend the remaining millions on renovations and new facilities at the district's key location and other district improvements.
"I think that's a good exchange," Camara said.
Wednesday's meeting attracted about 50 people, several who shared their visions for new facilities.
"We have an overwhelming cry out for some place for the kids to skate," said Cory Bosacki, 30, one of several attendees in favor of a district skate facility. "The location of a skate park doesn't matter. We'd like to have it at Lime Street. I think it would be a benefit for the community."
Resident Sally Austin said she would like to see an outdoor theater like one in Redlands and an archery range. Camara said that the district was planning a building in conjunction with the Hesperia Civic Park stage and will likely have an archery range in the near future.
Gwen Gregg talked about the district's Little League facilities.
Paul Peté, unit program coordinator for the Boys & Girls Clubs of Victor Valley, suggested a gymnasium for basketball at Lime Street Park.
"Quite frankly I'd like to see a gym at this spot," Camara said in response.
Other suggestions included new aquatic facilities and a teen center
"A lot of the suggestions people made were good ones," Camara said. "They were very helpful. If they don't let us know what they're thinking they have no opportunity to have their ideas bloom."
Remaining park planning community meetings:
• Friday, Nov. 6 at 10 a.m.
• Tuesday, Nov. 10 at 2 p.m.
• Saturday, Nov. 14 at 10 a.m.
• Tuesday, Nov. 17.at 6:30 p.m.
For more information, call 244-5488.