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Fitness Court Slab Latest Step In Pacific Park Improvements

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The latest step in the Pacific Park improvements is the setting of the fitness court slab. The slab was in place Monday morning, Nov. 29, 2021. It is required to set for 28 days before any additional work is possible, according to Sulphur Springs City Manager Marc Maxwell.

With the new Grays Community Building complete and open to the public, the fitness court slab is the latest step in the Pacific Park improvement project.

Assistant City Manager/Community Development Director Tory Niewiadomski in July 2021, reminded the City Council that the outdoor fitness court is one of the things identified by the community during the planning process for an updated Parks and Recreation Open Space Master Plan for city recreational facilities.

City staff this year reached out to the National Fitness Campaign, a program offering grants of $25,000 to communities to help with this purpose. The city’s park facilities were evaluated. With the considerable investment being made at Pacific Park, the park was recommended as the location for an outdoor fitness court. NFC looked at it and the city was awarded at $25,000 grant for construction of an Outdoor Fitness Court in Pacific Park.

“This is an outdoor gym that offers free fitness opportunities to any residents and visitors and is fully accessible for all ages and abilities,” Niewiadomski explained at the July 2021 City Council meeting.

The National Fitness Campaign’s concept incorporates equipment for 7 movements (core, squat, push, lunge, pull agility and bend) that can be completed in 7 minutes, using the individual’s own body weight to get a “perfect workout.” The city officials played a short video from the 2021 NFC website about the purpose of the campaign and use of outdoor fitness courts.

The City Council at the July 2021 meeting approved a resolution adopting and allocating funds for an outdoor fitness court as part of the 2021 National Fitness Campaign.

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Maxwell Nov. 29, 2021, expressed appreciation for the “generous contributions presented by CHRISTUS Mother Frances Hospital-Sulphur Springs and Saputo that make the new court possible.”

The November 2019 voter-approved funding allowed for construction of a new Grays Building, which opened this past summer, along with new sidewalks around the building and front facing parking spaces. A Texas Parks & Wildlife grant will go toward additional renovations in the park.

Crews have already worked on some drainage issues around the park.

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New playground equipment has been ordered through BuyBoard purchasing cooperative. The $245,000 project designed by MHS Planning & Design and provided by Whirlix was preferred by 84 percent of community members who responded to a March 2021 online survey.

On August 27, 2020, the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) Commission approved the City of Sulphur Springs grant request for $1.5 million with a $750,000 match contribution from the City of Sulphur Springs. TPWD then submitted our project to the National Park Service (NPS) for federal funding and it was anticipated that the City would receive a grant agreement from TPWD around March This has not happened yet due to COVID-19 at the federal level, Niewiadomski reported in September 2021.

As soon as the contract with TPWD is signed, the city expects to begin work on other improvements in Pacific Park, including the basketball pavilion and new restrooms. Walking paths and landscaping are expected to follow thereafter. Maxwell said funding allowing, city officials are hoping to be able irrigate the park so that it will continue to be lush like Celebration Plaza.

Author: Faith Huffman

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