$1.9 million grant will fund picnic arbors, walking trail and community plaza but will not include amphitheater, sequoia-themed playground or schoolhouse pavilion
FARMERSVILLE – Farmersville’s largest park is about to get a little bigger.
At its June 22 meeting, the Farmersville City Council approved a contract with Sierra Designs, Inc. to build its Sequoia Gateway project. The $307,000 contract will include a community plaza, walking trails, a small playground for children, picnic shelters, restrooms and a parking lot off Freedom Drive north of the canal.
The project is being funded through a $1.9 million grant from the Cultural, Community and Natural Resources Grant Program. Funded through Proposition 68, the Parks, Environment, and Water Bond of 2018, city manager Jennifer Gomez said the grant can only fund open spaces and is not eligible for large structures, parking lots or sports fields. She said there will be a parking lot, but that will be funded out of the city’s $250,000 in matching funds required by the grant. The plaza will be eligible because it using a permeable material.
The original proposal also included a first-of-its kind amphitheater and playground. The amphitheater was to be a community meeting place for small concerts, movies in the park, cultural celebrations, and sports team presentations with tiered seating for approximately 75 people. Titled the Sequoia Gateway project, the amphitheater would have been located in the existing storm water basin. A concrete slate at the bottom of the basin would have served as the stage of the amphitheater along with three ledges (giant steps) for the public to bring blankets, lawn chairs, and picnic baskets for event seating.
The Sequoia themed playground for children and adjacent adult exercise stations would have allowed entire families to enjoy the area. A schoolhouse pavilion with a weather station, tables, and seating for science experiments and presentations will be an ideal outdoor learning space for nearby students at Freedom Elementary and Farmersville High School. Additional picnic tables and shelters were to compliment this new area as well.
A schoolhouse pavilion was slated to be a center focal point of the project and provide an ideal space for science experiments, small presentations, and a weather station.
Farmersville Unified School District teachers and students would have access to these resources; the weather station was planned to have a wide variety of digital measurement tools that could measure earth and atmospheric conditions.
Gomez said there is still land set aside for these projects in the future and the city will continue to seek grant funding for those aspects of the overall park.