Dothan Names Newest City Park

Dothan, Ala. (WSFA) -- Tuesday night the Dothan City Commission approved the name of the new south west park.

It's now James O. Oates park, named after the longtime director of leisure services.

31 years ago, James Oates was ready for a career change.

He was working in Georgia and wanted to get back into the recreation business.

"I was looking for a special place," says Oates.

Oates now calls Dothan home.

"When I came in 1977 I saw the tremendous potential that was here in the city of Dothan," said Oates.

During his 21 years as director of leisure services Oates over saw many projects.

He helped with the development and promotion of Westgate park including Water World, the aquatic center, Dothan's softball complex, and the Westgate tennis center.

"It's just tremendous to see all those things come to fruition," said Oates.

But now it's a new city park that bears his name that Oates is waiting on.

"For years we've needed a park in this area and I think it's great for the people to come and participate," says Oates.

Naming the park was easy for Leisure Services director Ann Rumble, considering the amount of work Oates did during his career and the fact that he gave Rumble her job with the department.

"I grew up under him , he was a great man, and a great father figure to all of us," said Rumble.

James Oates park will be built off Taylor road and Campbelton highway.

Leisure Services plans to break ground later this year.

Oates park sits on 87.5 acres of land.

Reporter: Daniel Curtis