New budget year means improvements, expansion of College Station parks
COLLEGE STATION, Texas (KBTX) - The city of College Station began its fiscal year Friday. City officials announced a few of the new projects and improvements planned.
Improvements are scheduled for the dog park, wash station, playground, and lighting systems at Steeplechase Park. Improvements to sidewalks and drainage areas are also planned at the Stephen C. Beachey Central Park and Mabel Clare Thomas Parks.
Construction is also set to begin on the new Texas Independence Ballpark Midtown College Station. The new facility will be located along Rock Prarie and William D. Fitch Parkway. Independence Park will feature eight diamond fields, batting cages, concession stands, and more. City officials say it’s their goal to provide a top-notch complex community members that partake in the sports of baseball and softball.
“We’ve been building our Veterans Park for quite a few years, which is primarily focused on flat fields, and so we’re finally going to get those amenities for our baseball and softball community,” said Kelly Kelby, Assistant Director of Parks and Recreation.
Independence Park is also expected to draw in thousands of visitors and millions of dollars for the local economy. Officials with the City of College Stations Tourism Division Compete College Station say the park’s eight diamond fields are perfect for hosting large groups and tournaments.
“Anything we can do to kind of enhance our facilities and create something new for those tournaments out there is always exciting,” said Dominique Powell, Compete College Station Director of Sports. “Since we’re centrally located in the state of Texas, we’re a hotspot for people wanting to come in and compete here.”
Community members like Bryan National Little League coach Travis Engram say the park will be a home run for everyone in Bryan-College Station. Many studies say sports enhance the overall health of youth and play a significant role in developing character and instilling confidence in children. He says reinvesting in the community is a win for everyone, especially when youth are involved.
“Sports provides an opportunity for these guys to learn life lessons at an early age, whether it’s a discipline equals success, meaning that you get out what you put in or whether it’s courage or teamwork,” said Engram. " “To have these opportunities in this area. It puts us where kids don’t have to travel to Houston and other markets to play select ball, tournament, ball, little league ball rec ball, different things. They can stay at home and play in their backyard. It gives our kids a better chance to be successful in their endeavors and their sports and their loves.”
City officials say no date has been set to when construction will begin.
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