HOLLAND, Mich. (WOOD) — Two major donations will help Holland expand its recreation opportunities.
City officials announced during Wednesday’s City Council study session that the city has received $6 million to be put toward recreational facilities: $5 million from the estate of James Heeringa and $1 million from Frank Kraai through the Community Foundation of the Holland/Zeeland Area.
In a release, Holland City Manager Keith Van Beek said the Heeringa donation is expected to be used on a new public recreation center. Planning efforts are tentatively scheduled to start in 2024 and construction in the following year. The location for the development hasn’t been approved, but city officials are focused on the property next to Bouws Pool and Smallenburg Park, near the intersection of Fairbanks Avenue and 16th Street.
“We as a Parks and Recreation team couldn’t be more excited to start planning for a recreation center,” Holland Parks and Recreation Director Andy Kenyon said in a release. “The thoughtfulness of Mr. Heeringa is unbelievable, and we are so thankful for this gift. The recreation center will be a transformational project that the City of Holland community deserves to have. It will be a space that families can grow together through arts and athletics.”
Heeringa, a Holland native, died in October. He was 77 years old. This is not his first donation to the city. In 2016, he donated $2 million toward the renovations at the Holland Civic Center Place, which is now named in honor of his parents.
The $1 million donation will be used to build an outdoor ice rink on the waterfront.
Kraai has been working to bring an ice rink to Holland for years, saying in a release, “An ice rink will bring people together, it’s something people can be proud of in their community, and a rink is a place that permits people of all ages to have fun.”
Preliminary planning on the ice rink is already underway. It was approved as part of the city’s Capital Improvement Fund. The rink will be added to the Window on the Waterfront, with construction expected to start next year. The ice rink will require more fundraising efforts, which city officials plan to announce in the future.