This month I’d like to provide an update on several projects currently underway or scheduled to begin this year. We also have some new business news I can share as well.
We are close to beginning the master planning process for Copperas Branch Park. The park was returned to the City in August 2018 after TxDOT used it as a staging area for the I-35E expansion.
Significant work was done to re-open Copperas Branch Park for public use, with the intent to seek public input on the best and desired uses of the Park through the master planning process. Stay tuned to the City website and social media accounts for information on how you can be involved.
In November 2017 voters approved two propositions in a bond election – one for street improvements and one focusing on park improvements. Voters approved issuance of $2.8 million in bonds to fund street improvements. Twenty-three streets were identified to be reconstructed with this bond issuance. The following streets are currently in the construction phase – Oak Forest, Winding Creek, Rosedale Street, Ranier Court, Snowdon Court, Sheldon Court and Dickinson Drive.
Parks improvements were also included in the bond election, here is an update on those projects.
Unity Park – Pond Improvements, Kids Kastle and Softball Field Expansion
The pond renovation and drainage improvements are currently under design and are expected to be completed by this spring. The project scope of work includes removal of accumulated silt and reconfigure the pond to accommodate a 50-year flood which will also benefit the surrounding areas. This work will impact the dog park and the Kids Kastle project. One of the design elements for drainage improvements for the pond will consist of adding drainage culverts through the narrow part of the large dog park. Once the culverts are in place, the contractor will start work immediately to establish grass over the top of the culverts. Users of the dog park can expect some temporary changes to the park during construction with the goal of minimizing closures. The new pond will be larger than it currently is in order to meet the critical water retention and drainage needs for the site. The new pond size will encroach into the current footprint of Kids Kastle. Understanding this city staff wants the new layout to be established before we start designing Kids Kastle. We are expecting the site civil work for the layout of the pond to be completed by September of this year. Once the new layout for the pond is established the city will start the community engagement process for the Kids Kastle replacement project. The community engagement process will provide residents the opportunity to be involved in the design process.
I have received a few questions from residents about the personalized tiles and fence pickets at Kids Kastle. If your name, or your family’s name is on one of these and you’d like it, please contact the parks department at [email protected]. Some tiles are in storage and available for pickup now. The tiles and pickets that are part of the Kids Kastle structure will be available for pickup prior to the demolition of Kids Kastle. The City will establish a pickup schedule and share on the City website, social media and print publications so stay tuned.
The new softball field design and engineering are complete, and the project is currently out for bid. Once all bids are received city staff will start the bid evaluation and vendor selection and awarding process in early February. City staff is hopeful that the softball field project construction will start sometime in March. The project is expected to take six months to complete; projected completion of the new softball field is late summer.
Highland Village Road Sidewalk
City staff is working with BW2 Engineers on the Highland Village Road sidewalk alignment. The new sidewalk will connect to the existing sidewalk at the Municipal Complex and head east along Highland Village Road to connect to the Copperas Trial adjacent to Wichita Forest Park. The sidewalk will provide critical connectivity to the City Trail for residents that live in the neighborhoods along Highland Village Road between the Municipal Complex and Wichita Forest Park. Engineering for the sidewalk is expected to be completed by April.
Victoria Park Walking Path
The Victoria Park walking path new alignment has been approved by city staff and Oncor. Engineering is expected to be completed by March, with construction starting sometime in the spring.
Brazos Park Parking Lot
The Brazos Park parking lot expansion is complete nearly doubling its parking capacity from 54 spaces to 106. The new parking lot will alleviate parking pressure on Highland Village Road during the football season.
Sunset Point Park
Sunset Point Park design for phase one is complete, and the staff is working with G&A McAdams Landscape Design firm to complete the bid documents. Phase one of the project consists of concrete improvements which included one ADA accessible parking space and sidewalk, two parking spaces, a street light, and bollards to keep vehicles from driving into the park. The concrete improvements will also provide a safe turn around for first responders. The project is expected to go out to bid late January.
In business news, we have several new businesses who have chosen Highland Village as their home. Be sure to stop in for a coffee at Sip Stir Coffeehouse in The District. Realms of Arcadia is open off of Sellmeyer Lane and is a flashback to the vintage arcade games of our youth. Salerno’s is progressing nicely in the Highland Village Town Center and should open this month.
Spring break and all the fun festivals and outdoor activities will be here before you know it. Be sure to check out hvparks.com if you’re looking for something for your kiddos to do over the break. We are set to host the annual Highland Village Art Festival in The Shops at Highland Village on May 4. Mark your calendar to attend and if you’re an artist and would like a booth at the event, check out hvparks.com for the application.
As you can see, there is a lot taking place in Highland Village! In closing, I want to remind you to look in Highland Village first as you prepare for our next big holiday, Valentine’s Day! We have many restaurants here for you to take your special someone. There are many boutique stores so you can give a unique gift to the one you love. We can’t say it enough, make it a habit to shop and dine Highland Village first. I look forward to seeing you around town and appreciate all of you!