Friendswood residents saw progress during 2014 toward a list of bond projects that includes a library expansion, roadway and park improvements.
The first round of projects in the $23.9 million bond referendum approved by voters in 2013 began moving forward this year with an estimated $9.65 million in improvements fire stations, streets, parks and the city library in various stages.
Construction on a $2.5 million, 6,000 square-foot expansion to the city’s library is set to begin in spring of 2015, city officials said. Among additions are a computer classroom and community meeting rooms. The former office building at 416. S. Friendswood was transformed into the city library in 1994.
Lighting improvements and a detention pond at Centennial Park were completed this year, and a design contract was awarded in November for Lake Friendswood. The long planned opening of the lake, is still undetermined, but estimates for construction are set for the third quarter of 2015.
Meanwhile, a pedestrian bridge that would span Cowart’s Creek and connect Stevenson and Old City Parks, along with a trail system, remain in negotiations for property acquisition.
Friendswood in 2014 earned Texas Scenic City designation. Changes in zoning regulations this year allowed for the establishment of a Farmer’s Market, an outdoor venue featuring local produce and other goods.
In education, Friendswood school district landed at the No. 1 spot in the Houston metro area in a ranking of public and private schools released by research site Niche.com.
Generations of Friendswood ISD alumni felt the loss in January of the district’s beloved longtime educator Myrlene Kennedy. “Dr. K,” as she was affectionately known, founded the district’s spring musical nearly 50 years ago. An all-class reunion was held in her memory, and the FHS auditorium was renamed in her honor in the fall. The 2015 musical, “Mary Poppins,” will be performed as a tribute to Kennedy.
The Friendswood Chamber in 2014 hosted its 50th anniversary Chairman’s Gala, presenting its Business of the Year award to Truman Taylor Insurance Inc., the chamber’s longest member on record.