Following receiving the results of a residential survey, the Shenandoah City Council has approved a preliminary plan for its park renovations, which include a spray ground and a multi-purpose sports field.
Public Works Director Byron Bevers said the improvements are estimated to cost $1.5 million, including two tennis courts, a pavilion, a multi-purpose sports field and a spray ground. The updated design was based on results of a residential survey. After residents expressed concerns regarding the initial design of the improvements, the city mailed out 822 surveys in June and received about 275 responses with a variety of requests and concerns.
Perhaps the most significant area of contention within the survey was the spray ground, which 53 percent of residents supported and 47 percent did not want located in the park. The Shenandoah City Council approved the preliminary plan Aug. 15. However, the council agreed to have the Park Committee continue to examine the pros and cons of a spray ground simultaneously as the park's design continues.
“I think it deserves a second look before we make a final decision,” Councilman Gary Henson said.
City Administrator Greg Smith said the council's approval Aug. 15 was necessary to finish the scope of work for the design team, but the council can make changes prior to the plan being finalized and construction taking place.
Councilman Ron Hyde praised the Park Committee's work on the design of the park improvements, but he admitted he was not in support of a spray ground.
“I don't like the splash pad, because the park is about serenity,” Hyde said. “If I go down to the park and want to read a book, I don't want to listen to a bunch of kids screaming while I'm trying to read my book.”
Smith said the spray ground could cost anywhere from $200,000-$400,000, and there are other locations which could be considered for a spray ground if the council opts to construct it elsewhere. However, Bevers said the infrastructure already in place at the park, including bathrooms and shade, make it an ideal location for the amenity.
For more information on the park improvements, go to the city's website at www.shenandoahtx.com.