Thu March 23, 2023
In 1998, Pat Callahan was elected to the Batavia Park Board. He's served 25 years, with a mission to increase and improve recreation opportunities for all Batavians and an impressive list of accomplishments.
On March 21, the Park Board honored his years of service by voting unanimously to name Batavia’s future community center at 150 Houston St. the “Patrick J. Callahan Community Center.”
Callahan is president of the park board, a role he assumed in 2005. Under his guidance, the park district expanded park space; developed and improved its flagship parks and facilities including the Batavia Riverwalk and Hall Quarry Beach; and completed capital development projects, securing more than $13 million in federal state and local grants.
“Pat is a true leader and visionary,” said Park District Executive Director Allison Niemela. “Under his guidance, we upgraded parks, facilities and programs, and experienced the largest growth period in the district’s 54-year history.”
Park Board Vice President John Tilmon agreed, noting that Callahan was instrumental in planning for the park district’s new community center in a fiscally responsible manner, “without having to go to the taxpayers for a referendum.”
In 2021, the district purchased a two-story professional building at 150 Houston St. and plans are in the works to expand it into a multigenerational community center with amenities that include a community room, a child care room, a gathering space for active older adults, a new home for Batavia Access Television and storage for Batavia Depot Museum collections.
The purchase and ongoing renovations were funded by existing Batavia Park District fund balances, without the need for a referendum. Renovations to the building will occur in three phases and are projected to end in 2026.
Callahan said he joined the board while it was in growth mode and contributed his expertise as an architect and planner to shape new facilities and parks to improve quality of life for residents. He advocated for preserving open space for community parks and recreation.
Under his guidance, the park district added more than 200 acres of land and created neighborhood parks within walking distance of every Batavia resident. He also worked with Fox Valley Special Recreation to provide accessible recreation options for residents of all ages and abilities.
“I set out to make Batavia a better place and use my talents in service.” Callahan said. “This honor is humbling. I have never had any expectation to receive but only to give.”
For more information on our Batavia Park District programs and events, call (630) 879-5235 or visit bataviaparks.org.