They were able to match that cost and raise a total of $2.7 million, but city officials say it didn’t happen overnight.
“We’ve received funding from a number of sources. The Texas Parks and Wildlife grant is a big part of it for half a million dollars,” said Clarendon City Administrator David Dockery. “We also have a number of foundations, grant opportunities, and a lot of private donations from local citizens.”
Dockery said accepting a bid to begin the construction on the aquatic center took longer than expected.
The city was offered two that were both more than 3.5 million dollars before accepting a more affordable option.
“Both bids came in substantially over the budget that we had to expend for this project,” said Dockery. “So we finally had to redesign the project and reduce its size to be able to bring it in within our budget.”
While it will be a smaller size, the aquatic center will keep the amenities that were planned for it more than a year ago such as a climbing wall, basketball goal, volleyball net, play areas for toddlers and much more.
“To me, it’s just a quality of life issue. It’s much like the Mulkey Theatre opening up about six months ago,” said Mayor of Clarendon Sandy Skelton. “It just offers another opportunity for recreation here in Clarendon.”
The community was invited to an official groundbreaking ceremony Tuesday afternoon to thank donors and celebrate the beginning of construction.
“We expect to have construction happening within a week, and hopefully we’ll have the construction completed by next July,” said Dockery.
The site at Kearney and 4th St. will be fenced off starting Wednesday, Sept. 18.
“We’re excited, and I think as you could tell by the groundbreaking today, the kids are excited and that’s what it’s all about,” said Skelton.