Future plans on the way for Gene Howe Park

Future plans on the way for Gene Howe Park
(Source: KFDA)
(Source: KFDA)
Drainage system (Source: KFDA)
Drainage system (Source: KFDA)

AMARILLO, TX (KFDA) - The city of Amarillo is working on two master plans for Gene Howe Park.

Parks and Recreation has a $170,000 budget to spend on the project.

There are two plans that could either repurpose the park completely or relocate children play pads.

"When we first went to the public about the park plan, our constituents were telling us that their biggest concern was safety of the kids that were playing there and those storm drainage facilities so close," said Parks and Recreation Assistance Director, Pat Westbrook.

Since the community is concerned about the Martin Road Lake Drainage near Gene Howe, the city has designed these plans.

Option A will keep children playgrounds at Gene Howe, but Westbrook said it could be more expensive to renovate restrooms and a multipurpose court there.

She said option B can be more cost efficient and keep children further from the drainage lakes but it would mean the city would move facilities to another neighboring park.

"We started to look at that North Park across 15th because it already has amenities and it already has grass trees to stretch our dollars further," Westbrook said. "But before we make a final decision, we have to go back to the constituency."

Currently, Gene Howe has a few play pads, a basketball court, and one outdated restroom.

If the public decides to repurpose Gene Howe, it will become a trail and picnic park, and then the neighboring Martin Road park would receive more of the funding that could add a splash pad.

"If the constituency says yes, then we are going to move right into construction documents," Westbrook said. "Then we will focus on what else needs to be done at that sight, what we need to clean up, and what is going to be the new project developed there."

The next meeting regarding the future of Gene Howe and Martin Road will be in March.

Once an option is picked, construction would start immediately with hopes to be completed as soon as September.

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