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College Station City Center to Be Discussed

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Members of the planning process for the new City Center in College Station are ready to move forward.

Parks and Rec director Steve Beachy is the project's point man and says at this week's workshop, they'll roll out the conceptual plan, including the expansion of Dartmouth Road and the addition of a lake.

"Over the past 30 years, every bond issue the city has had in that time has included some funding for some type of improvements in this area, and it only became known as City Center in the last several years but the city has a long history of investment in this area," says Beachy.

So far the city has invested time and money for this project. More than $5 million have been used to purchase the land where City Center will be located. More than $9 million has gone into renovations of existing buildings. More than 84,000 square footage of building space and about three decades worth of planning and development.

The idea for the City Center is to consolidate city offices into a central location. The plan has evolved since its initial proposal in 2003 when voters passed a $4.3 million bond.

"There are elements in there that include a lake and some pathways and things like that and it does have a park like appearance to it. Certainly parts of it will be used for recreational areas, but the idea is to have a centralized plan in where you can consolidate municipal offices into a campus like environment and have those connected with walking paths," says Beachy.

Chris Scotti, a new member to the city council says public input is needed at this point. During the campaign, citizens were concerned this city center is not the same one they voted on. It's bigger and more expensive.

"I feel we're at a point that we need a ballpark cost, present that ballpark cost to the citizens and talk to them about where we're get the money and whether they will approve of the sources before going forward and spending more money on this," says Scotti.

Beachy hopes for public input soon so they can begin to start on a master plan to be brought to council at a later date.