The Ronald R. Darner Parks and Recreation Operations Headquarters, 5800 Enrique M. Barrera Parkway (formerly 5800 Old Highway 90 West), houses the Parks and Recreation Department's Recreation, Maintenance, Warehouse and Park Police Training divisions. Business hours are 7:45 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.
For more information, call 210-207-3000. A new community center located inside the building is named in honor of former District 6 Councilman Enrique Barrera.
The Ronald R. Darner Parks and Recreation Operations Headquarters was dedicated and named for the former Parks and Recreation Department director on December 13, 2008. The request to name the headquarters for Mr. Darner came from the San Antonio Parks Foundation and was shepherded through the approval process by then District 6 Councilwoman Delicia Herrera.
Mr. Darner began his career with the department as a Junior Engineer in 1967, was promoted to Landscape Architect in 1969, Assistant Director two years later, and ultimately, Director in 1973, at the age of 30. Among his many accomplishments, the San Antonio Missions National Historical Park ranks as Mr. Darner's proudest. Mr. Darner also worked to urge Congress to authorize the inclusion of the missions under the auspices of the National Park Service. The legislative process took three years. The bill passed in 1978.
Other Darner accomplishments include the San Antonio Botanical Center, the Lucile Halsell Conservatory, Emily and Albert Friedrich Wilderness Park, Eisenhower Park and the beautification of the River Walk, as well as the design of the water feature in HemisFair Park during its renovation in the 1980s. Mr. Darner worked closely with private citizens to establish two organizations that would become key stakeholders in the future: the San Antonio Parks Foundation and the San Antonio Botanical Society.
The City of San Antonio acquired the former Levi Strauss and Co. buildings and 58.9 acres in 2004 to serve as the operations headquarters for the Parks and Recreation Department and to establish a new community center. City Council approved the $3.3 million purchase on June 6, 2004.
In January 2006 a previous contract with Beaty Palmer Architects, Inc. was amended to provide architectural plans for the building at a cost of $590,602. In May 2007, City Council approved a construction contract with Wallace L. Boldt, General Contractor, Inc., to make improvements to the building at a cost of $5 million. Levi Strauss & Co. opened its plant at this location in 1977 and about 800 employees produced four million pairs of jeans annually at this location for 27 years. The company also operated a 20,000 square foot finishing plant at 5827 Old Highway 90 West, employing 650 people and a seeing plant on South Zarzamora where 1,115 people were employed until it closed in April 1990.