Farmers market focus of Holland Civic Center meeting

A public meeting to discuss renovation plans for the Holland Civic Center and nearby farmers market. (Jan. 5, 2016)

HOLLAND, Mich. (WOOD) — It was a packed house at the Holland Civic Center Tuesday evening, with many residents frustrated by the outdated facility.

The Holland Civic Center is more than 60 years old, and the city has been talking about updating it for at least the last 10 years.

“I’d really like to see something get done so it’s functional and usable again,” Holland resident Bob Pete said.

Holland Civic Center.
Holland Civic Center.

The city is still working on plans to improve the four square blocks between 8th and 9th streets that the Civic Center and farmers market and Civic Center occupy.

“The Civic Center is a really precious place. As much as it’s showing its age, 60 years old, people really love the space,” said Greg Weykamp of Edgewater Resources, the company resigning the remodel. “We don’t want to lose that history, so exactly how it will come together, we just don’t know yet.”

Last month, he said, the focus was on the Civic Center building. This month, the focus is on the market. More than one hundred people showed up to Tuesday’s meeting to share their thoughts on what it needs.

There has been debate about how to balance upgrades to the Civic Center and still provide enough space for the market. It was announced at Tuesday’s meeting that parking for the market would not be eliminated, which was a point of contention over the summer. Edgewater Resources says any spaces removed during the remodel will be replaced.

Nothing has been decided regarding the upgrades to the area, but a timeline has been established. The design process is set to begin in a couple of weeks. The goal is to have a master plan approved by mid-March and construction is scheduled to begin in late fall or early winter.

The budget for the project is $11 million, $2 million of which was an anonymous gift.

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