New look for park at Indian Hills |

New look for park at Indian Hills

Jill Keller, Appeal Staff Writer

Improvements to James Lee Park in northern Douglas County began to take shape Monday as construction workers hauled in truckloads of material.

The park on the west side of Highway 395 off Vista Grande soon will have a

12,000-square-foot skatepark, a roller hockey court, two tennis courts and a Little League baseball field. Officials hope to complete the project by next spring.

“We hope to have it finished by April,” said Jim Bentley, general manager of the Indian Hills Improvement District.

The neighborhood surrounding the park is next to booming retail and commercial development in northern Douglas County.

With a population of about 6,000, the Indian Hills General Improvement District serves an area that has grown by about 120 homes a year over five years. The district is expecting more homes behind The Home Depot in the Silver Crest area and in Sunridge South on the east side.

The 200-acre James Lee Park, owned and managed by the district, is in its second phase of construction at a cost of more than $555,000. The money comes from new housing development and is administrated by Douglas County. The district will pick up the tab for costs that exceed $550,000, Bentley said.

New amenities will include 64 parking spaces and a paved entrance off Vista Grande. The project is sure to draw more users and activities, Bentley said.

Douglas County’s park rangers, who enforce violations at other county parks, do not patrol parks within the Indian Hills General Improvement District because the responsibility for enforcing motorcycle and other restrictions that of the local entities.

The district has neighborhood volunteers watch for violations like graffiti or illegal motorcycle riding, but they can’t make arrests or write citations, Bentley said. Local officials are looking into paying for extra Douglas County Sheriff’s Department patrols.

Last year, the district constructed a baseball field and permanent snack area at the park.