Posts tagged “park improvements

What’s the status of pandemic-delayed park projects?

By Kelly Kelbly, Parks & Recreation Assistant Director

Early this year, improvements and enhancements were underway at many of College Station’s favorite and most-visited park facilities. 

Then the COVID-19 pandemic hit, followed by the economic downturn. In most cases, construction came to a screeching halt. 

So, what’s the status of those projects now?

Central and Bee Creek Parks: Demolition and construction have started in Central Park and Bee Creek Park on a pavilion and restrooms. In Central Park, park users can expect more climate-controlled restrooms, a new kitchen to rent, and a larger pavilion footprint that allows for more seating and foot traffic. The athletic shed will also have more climate-controlled restrooms and seats.  

In Bee Creek, user groups and patrons will also enjoy more restrooms in the structure nearest the ball fields. Staff is working with the contractor to achieve a final product that will be open to the public by the end of the year.

Fun for All Playground: Construction of Phase II of the Fun for All playground includes a sensory maze, wee-go-rounds, musical play area, restrooms, and a synthetic turf field. While the splash pad will remain closed for the season, the playground will open by Christmas.

Veterans Park & Athletic Complex: October saw the start of construction on the next phase at Veterans Park and Athletic Complex, including drainage improvements for the front six athletic fields to funnel water from the playing surfaces. Concrete flumes will be constructed between the fields, and sidewalks will be added throughout the complex to provide better accessibility and get you safely to your destination.  

Guests will also soon enjoy two military-themed playgrounds that are true to the spirit of the park. Other new elements include a restroom facility at the south end and the reconstruction of all three roundabouts in the park’s thoroughfare.  

During construction, visitors can expect intermittent closures at various entrances and thruways. Depending on the weather, the work should be completed by the spring.

Lick Creek Park: Many of the popular trails at Lick Creek Park have been closed since last year while a major wastewater project is finished. Regrettably, the work has been delayed because of pandemic-caused material shortages. In the meantime, staff and volunteers have planted trees and worked with the contractor to improve the trail.

We expect to reopen the trail early next year. 

If you have questions or concerns, we encourage you to contact us at parks@cstx.gov or 979-764-3486.

 


About the Blogger Interim Director Kelly Kelbly is in her 20th year with the College Station Parks & Recreation Department. A native of Gilmer, Kelly is a 1998 graduate of Texas A&M.


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How Veterans Park will soon be even more amazing

By Kelly Kelbly, Interim Parks & Recreation Director

Few things are more disappointing for young athletes than when a much-anticipated sports event is rained out.

The Parks & Recreation staff shares that pain.

You spend endless hours practicing your sport in preparation for competitive or recreational play. At the same time, we spend untold hours preparing the fields. Unfortunately, it takes just one significant thunderstorm to cause a rainout.

When such adverse circumstances arise, our staff is laser-focused on getting the fields playable and limiting the turnaround time as much as possible. Facility improvements are on the way at Veterans Park and Athletic Complex to simplify that daunting task.

The College Station City Council recently approved a $1.9 million contract that includes drainage improvements for the front six fields that will funnel water away from the playing surfaces.  Concrete flumes will also be constructed between the fields, and sidewalks will be added throughout the complex to enhance accessibility and safety.

But that’s not all.

We recognize that younger siblings quickly become bored waiting for games or practices to end.  That’s why we’re adding two military-themed playgrounds to enhance the spirit of a park that celebrates our nation’s veterans.

Additional enhancements included in the project are a new restroom at the south end and the reconstruction of the park’s three roundabouts.

We expect the work to be complete by next spring. In the meantime, we also understand the project will create challenges and frustrations for park users. The road work will cause intermittent closures of the Harvey Road and University Drive entrances, and at times, we’ll need to restrict access from the north to the south end of the park.

Work around the front six fields will require a construction fence to protect visitors, and caution signs will be posted throughout the park and along roadways. We urge you to heed all warnings for the safety of your family.

For updates on the project, along with all our programs and events, we encourage you to subscribe to our weekly Recreation Connection eNewsletter. For more information, contact us at 979-764-3486 or parks@cstx.gov.

Veterans Park and Athletic Complex is a jewel in our parks system, attracting more than one million local and out-of-town visitors a year. We appreciate your understanding and support as we make this fantastic complex even more impressive.

 


About the Blogger

Interim Director Kelly Kelbly is in her 20th year with the College Station Parks & Recreation Department. A native of Gilmer, Kelly is a 1998 graduate of Texas A&M.


 

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Improvements on the way at Central, Bee Creek parks

By Kelly Kelbly, Assistant Parks and Recreation Director

Abolitionist Frederick Douglass once wrote, “If there is no struggle, there is no progress.” A true application of that statement is dealing with construction projects in our community parks.

A prime example is the struggle you may encounter at Stephen C. Beachy Central Park and Bee Creek Park in the coming months. Next week, construction crews will begin demolishing the Central Park pavilion, restrooms, and athletic shed, as well as the Bee Creek restrooms. Reconstruction of the facilities should be finished by late fall.

The brief inconvenience will be worth it. When the project’s complete, you’ll have beautiful, functional facilities for your visits to these popular parks.

At Central, you’ll have more climate-controlled restrooms, a new kitchen to rent, and a larger pavilion footprint that allows for more seats and foot traffic. The athletic shed will also have more climate-controlled restrooms and additional seats. At Bee Creek, user groups and park patrons will enjoy more restrooms in the structure nearest the ball fields.

The parking lots may be closed at times during construction, but we encourage you to continue to use the parks. And don’t worry — ample porta potties will be available.

 


About the Blogger

Assistant Director Kelly Kelbly is in her 19th year with the College Station Parks & Recreation Department. A native of Gilmer, Kelly is a 1998 graduate of Texas A&M.


 

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5 things to watch at Thursday’s city council meetings

By Colin Killian, Public Communications Manager

The College Station City Council gathers Thursday at city hall for its workshop (about 5 p.m.) and regular (6 p.m.) meetings.

Here are five items to watch:

  1. YMCA: In the workshop, the council will hear a presentation about a possible YMCA facility in the College Station area.
  2. Citizen Survey Results: In another workshop presentation, the council will receive the results of the 2019 citizen satisfaction survey conducted in April by National Service Research.
  3. Park Improvements: As part of the consent agenda, the council will consider a $538,800 contract for improvements at Gabbard and Thomas Parks. The Gabbard project includes a new playground, surfacing, and a shade structure. The Thomas project includes a new play unit and surfacing on the south end and new surfacing and swings on the north end.
  4. Greens Prairie Rezoning: After public hearings, the commission will consider two items changing the land use and zoning from Estate to Suburban Commercial for about 1.3 acres southwest of the intersection of Greens Prairie Road West and White’s Creek Lane. The changes would allow for small-scale commercial development.
  5. Northeast Sewer Line Phase 2: The council will consider a $2.35 million contract with Elliott Construction for the Northeast Sanitary Sewer Trunk Line Phase 2 Project that runs from just north of Raintree Park through the city’s greenway property, east of Wilderness Drive, and ends at the Carters Creek Wastewater Treatment Plant.

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About the Blogger

Colin Killian (@ColinKillian) has been with the City of College Station since 2010 after serving 23 years as associate media relations director for the Texas A&M Athletics Department. Killian has also worked as a reporter and editor for the Corpus Christi Caller-Times and Lewisville News. A native of Hobbs, N.M., he graduated from Texas Tech with a bachelor’s degree in journalism/political science.


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