State legislators and Longview city officials Wednesday broke ground on the long-awaited effort to install a plaza and gazebo at R.A. Long Park.
About 40 people attended the event, including Sen. Dean Takko, Rep. Brian Blake and Rep. Jim Walsh.
The city received about $287,000 from the state for the park improvements.
“This gazebo will be perfectly situated to draw the city together,” Walsh said after the ceremony. “Longview is a planned city. (Civic Circle) was always mean to be the hub. It’s great to polish this place up and make it shine again.”
Public Works Director Jeff Cameron said the vision for the park is much more than just a gazebo.
The first phase of the project will include a concrete plaza, pathways, electrical upgrades, new lights and landscaping. But future plans include benches, picnic tables and a stage area that could hold a variety of performances, he said.
The gazebo will also have two plaques dedicated to the Koelsch family, which donated $75,000 towards the project, Cameron said.
Aaron Koelsch wanted to honor his family’s 60-year history in the community, Koelsch Communities Liaison Diane Craft told The Daily News. Koelsch could not attend the event because he was out of town, she said.