Progress on several projects that will enhance the quality of life for residents and showcase the beauty of Waxahachie to visitors was shared Friday with the Waxahachie Community Development Corporation board.
The projects aim to increase amenities offered to residents at the Waxahachie Civic Center, in downtown, and throughout the city's parks system.
Bob Stoffels, with Dunkin, Smis, Stoffels, Inc., is working with the city to develop the new Little Creek Trail System and the two plaza areas at the civic center. His firm has completed projects for the cities of Highland Village and The Colony.
The WCDC is funding the $3 million Little Creek Trail project. Its mission is to identify and fund projects for the civic center and the sports complex.
“The length from northwest to southeast is a little bit over two miles. We have seven trailheads along the trail to let them know and to encourage them to use it,” Stoffels said. “The first trailhead starts at Solon Road. The last marker is Brown Singleton Park adjacent to Farley Street.”
Stoffel told the board there would be several pavilion areas, benches, trashcans, and water fountains on the trail. There will be several arches that feature the city’s seal, which will denote the entry points to the trail. Lighting options for the signs are being explored as well.
The 10-foot wide trail will be made of stained concrete with either rock salt or slate texture. It will provide access to several locations including the Northgate Shopping Center, HEB, the Waxahachie Ninth Grade Academy and Chapman Park.
Stoffels told the board the pedestrian footbridge near the Boy Scout cabin at Chapman Park on Brown Street will be preserved but moved five feet closer to the cabin due to deteriorating support abutments. New abutments will be built.
CIVIC CENTER UPGRADES
The two projects at the civic center hope to enhance not only the capabilities of the property but create a new, inviting outdoor space. A fountain and plaza area will be constructed next to the Crape Myrtle Room located by the building west entrance.
Stoffels told the board this space would feature a lighted fountain, seating, and its surface will use reclaimed pavers. The pavers were removed from the installation of the splash pad at George Brown Plaza located on North Jackson Street. The fountain and plaza have an estimated cost of $227,000.
On the east end of the building, a large plaza area featuring the civic center’s star logo is planned. This plaza will utilize the reclaimed pavers as well. The plaza area has an estimated cost of $206,000.
Stoffels stated the star logo would be made of stainless steel and within the star, there would be spaces for landscaping.
Board president John Sanders expressed his concern about the heat absorbed by the metal, which could burn someone.
The board asked if Stoffels could look at alternatives such as a covering to keep the metal at a lower temperature. Stoffels agreed to research the other options. He added that the construction documents for the two plazas are about 95 percent complete.
Construction on the Little Creek trail project and the two plazas at the civic center will take place later on this year, but no date has been set.
Representatives from Halff Associates shared with the board that the site of the amphitheater posed a significant challenge for the placement of needed electrical equipment. The location of the $3 million amphitheater — located on the corner of College and Rogers Street — is in a 100-year floodplain.
Halff representative Michael Allread, told the board the solution to the problem was to elevate the equipment.
“We were able to move the electrical equipment out of the floodplain,” Allread said. “The electrical equipment would be contained within the amphitheater structures with a removable bulkhead feature. It (the equipment) can be accessed through a panel.”
Allread stated the raised bulkhead would be installed behind the stage allowing performers to hook up their equipment. An electrical device known as a company switch could be transported by a cart to the stage by a city employee for larger groups needing a 200-amp connection.
Dave Buchanan, a Halff Associate representative, stated that apart from the electrical issues everything from a design standpoint has been consistent from the beginning. One thing Halff is working to do is to preserve as much as the existing trees on the site as possible
The current design adds several more elements in addition to the amphitheater. These features including a park, a pavilion area, a playground and a place for food trucks to park.
In other business the board:
• Approved a funding request not to exceed $35,000 to repair a sinkhole at the Waxahachie Sports Complex on Broadhead Road.