WAXAHACHIE — Waxahachie’s newest park was given the green light to proceed with its development at Monday night’s city council meeting. Construction on Mathews Park, which will be located near Garden Valley Parkway, is set to start this spring and with an opening planned for June.

The council approved a development agreement with Legacy Gove Development, who is developing the park during its regular session held Monday, Dec. 19.

"I am excited to announce that we have a site plan finally. We have been working with Craftsman Playground Equipment and John Smith (Director of Parks and Recreation), who have been very helpful during this process. What we have here is about nine and a half acres,” Legacy Grove Development Owner David Hargrove said. "We wanted to be a part of because it coincides with our 135 lot development.”

The park will feature a half-mile hike-and-bike trail, a splash pad, a pavilion and a playground. Splash pads are a mini water park where children can jump through jets of water, fountains or even spray water at each other. According to DFW child.com, some of the cities in the area that have splash pads include Allen, Arlington, Cedar Hill and Euless.

Another feature that the park will have is an American with Disabilities Act approved swing that can be utilized by children with disabilities. This developed portion will be sodded and landscaped covering about two acres. The remaining seven acres or so will have native grass planted.

“There are 16 parking places. We don’t have a real concept of how busy it could get,” Hargrove said. “That is why these streets are engineered to park on either side to accommodate overflow.”

The city’s contribution to the project is $100,000 plus upgrade costs to lengthen the width of the sidewalks to 10 foot. The homebuilders, J. Houston Custom Homes and Bloomfield Homes are paying $1,000 per lot they build on, which is a total of $135,000. The remaining costs of the $370,000 park project will be funded by Legacy Grove, who is looking for additional partners, Hargrove noted.

Smith is excited about how this park will add to the quality of life for residents.

“The greatest thing about this is that it serves an area of town that is not served by park space. We don’t have anything north of U.S. Highway 287,” Smith said. “This is perfect space because of the new families moving in. With the addition of this first splash pad, it will be a shining star. Splash pads are a great alternative to a pool.”

City Manager Paul Stevens shared Smith’s thoughts about the development.

“This is an exciting project to get a new park. If you have driven down Garden Valley recently, there is so much going on there. You had the new streets poured last week for the new development,” Stevens said. “This will probably be one of, if not, the most visible parks that we have in the city.”

People who wish to partner with Hargrove in the project can contact him at david@legacy-grove.com.

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