WAXAHACHIE — Before the cutting of the ceremonial ribbon, children were already making use of the brand new equipment at Brown-Singleton Park Thursday afternoon. Brown-Singleton Park is the second park to have new equipment installed as part of the City of Waxahachie's $1.5 million renovation project.

During the budget process for the 2016-17 Fiscal Year, Waxahachie City Council approved the use of funds from the Waxahachie Community Development Corporation in addition to previously passed bond funds to make the renovations possible. The development corporation identifies and supports the Waxahachie Civic Center and Sports Complex projects and also helps at times to fund projects that improve the quality of life for residents.

“There are 10 or 12 parks around the city. It is really exciting to see it finished and see the kids playing on it. There is another one up near Bullard Heights that is finished. Just as soon as we walked off the whole neighborhood ran over and started playing. It is exciting,” Waxahachie Mayor Kevin Strength said. “We have been working together really closely with a lot of different groups. The Waxahachie Community Development Corporation went in and decided to help the park board. They funded them $1.5 million to do all these projects. Working with city staff and with the different boards and commissions, this is what became of it. It is really neat to see them work together and help each other.”

Strength said the new equipment enhances the quality of life for residents and makes the city that much stronger. He added that this project is not the end and that there is more to come.

The playground equipment in the first two newly renovated parks — Brown-Singleton and Bullard Heights Neighborhood Park — is constructed and designed by Kompan.

According to the Kompan website, the company develops, produces and markets an extensive range of playground equipment that covers all age groups. Its playgrounds are designed from the ground up to improve childhood health and learning. The products offer compelling design, high play value, uncompromised safety, unique innovation, and long-lasting quality.

City Manager Paul Stevens shared Strength's thoughts about the project and what it has added to the city.

“The park board, the Waxahachie community, and the city council have all worked together to make these things happen. The park board has worked for years and years doing planning. The only reason that they could do planning is because we didn’t have money do anything else,” Stevens said. “So finally we have had some funds to do that. It is really a great addition to not only this neighborhood but, as the mayor mentioned, so many others that are going to be around the City of Waxahachie.”

Stevens said there is going to be a hike-and-bike trail added at Brown-Singleton Park in the future. This trial will go from the park to Solon Road by Wedgeworth Elementary School. He added that it is "fantastic" that the city is able to do some quality of life projects and this new playground is and example of that.

John Sanders, President of the Waxahachie Community Development Corporation, said the board was proud to be able to be a part of the project that will benefit so many people.

“As Paul said, the Parks Department has been looking for some funding for a while. This is one of the projects that we have targeted, and we are proud to see it come to fruition,” Sanders said. “The parks board has worked really hard, the parks department, the city and everyone involved. It has been a collaborative effort. We appreciate everybody’s help and look forward to see what comes in the future.”

Chad Hicks, Vice Chairman of the Park Board, said the Parks Board has been able to do some great things for residents despite the limited budget. After listening to countless presentations and looking through numerous catalogs, he hopes that the public will enjoy the new amenities that are being created in the parks across the city.

Some of the other parks included in the park renovation project include Oak Lawn on Wyatt Street, Bell Vue Park, which is found at the end of Cumberland Road, A&F Thompson Memorial Park on West Jefferson Street and Lions Park located off of Howard Road.

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