City: Most park projects on schedule

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A grand opening for the expanded splash pad at Stevenson Park is scheduled May 22 as part of ongoing bond-funded park improvements within the city.

In addition to the improvements to the park’s popular water feature, the renovation of an old office into restroom facilities is about half complete, staff told City Council during an update of capital improvement projects.

The enlarged splash pad will have six added features, 15 new ground sprays and a shade cover with seating.

Also in Stevenson Park, the long-planned pedestrian footbridge that will eventually connect it with Old City Park is in the final design phase, staff reported, and the city is under contract to secure more property around the trail area for better alignment to and from the bridge. Construction contracts are expected to be awarded in two months, staff said.

The city is well into “Round 1” of a seven-year plan to implement bond projects approved by voters in 2013. Round 1 includes $9.5 million in projects, including a $2.5 million city library expansion, park and street improvements.

“With the exception of the sports park, we are at or ahead of schedule,” assistant City Manager Morad Kabiri said.

Until recently, much of the progress on the library expansion has been behind the scenes in the design, bid process and permitting stages.

“We’ve had progress on a number of projects, but one of the most visible is the library. If you’ve driven down FM 518, you’ve seen construction taking place,” Kabiri said. “There has been some internal demolition as well as some areas that have been shut off.”

Ardent Construction has removed the north wall in preparation for the expansion that will add 6,000 square feet of space. The work is expected to take about a year to complete.

Meetings continue between the city and contractors on Sports Park improvements, and final design plans are 90 percent complete. Contracts for field lighting were presented later in Monday’s meeting, as well.

“We hope to bring to you other construction contracts in June at the next council meeting,” Kabiri said.

Regarding Lake Friendswood plans, West Ranch has begun to develop a phase that will include a parking lot, public works Director/City Engineer Patrick Donart told the council.

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