City proposes park to surround training facility

The city of Wolfforth is now turning its attention to Cedar Avenue and Fifth Street and the land surrounding its new training center.

The building where the training center is located used to be city hall. Used as only a storage place for city vehicles and files for more than a decade, the city renovated it into a modern training center last year.

Darrell Newsom, city manager, has turned his attention to the outside of the facility, seeking to make a park of the land surrounding it.

“I hope we’re putting some revitalization in the center of town,” said Newsom. A park in the neighborhood could only help property values, he said.

The city manager credits Debbie Youngblood, city secretary, with the idea for creating a pocket park on the land.

Newsom said because most of the residents of the area are older, the city hopes to build a park that has more relaxing areas for picnicking or resting. It is hoped that people in the neighborhood and from surrounding churches could use the park.

It will not have a playground, he said, noting that the city has playgrounds in other parks, such as Patterson Park and Frenship Mesa Park.

But like Frenship Mesa Park, he hopes to attract neighbors to help make the park a reality.

Three years ago, residents of the new Frenship Mesa subdivision banded together to build a park on donated land within their neighborhood, located by Frenship High School. Ultimately, the neighborhood won a national award as the 2009 Neighborhood of the Year because of its efforts to build the park.

Newsom said he would like to attract neighbors to tell the city what they would like to see in the pocket park and to review plans drawn up by Texas Tech graduate landscape architecture students.

“It’s just been stickers and ant beds for a while. And a place for the trash from the convenience store. That’s why we need a buy-in from the neighborhood,” said Newsom.

Samantha Crowder is one of the Tech students who first toured the area, talked to Newsom and then drew up a plan for the park.

“It was used for one of our classes,” said Crowder. “We were just the catalyst to getting the ideas flowing.”

Crowder said the students do many such projects, but a lot of them are not for real areas, and those that are may not be in the Lubbock area.

“It’s nice to be able to work on projects that are so close to Lubbock,” she said. “It’s nice to be able to stay here and feel like you’re doing something for the community.”

Crowder acknowledged that the area did have some challenges. The land is around the training center, but next to a convenience store. Also on the land is a pumphouse and a water tower, which she said need to be camouflaged. Additionally, she said there were a lot of power lines.

“There’s definitely a lot of challenges,” she said, but she said the land has a lot of potential as a relaxing park.

Designs from the Tech students are on display at Wolfforth’s new City Hall at 302 Main St. Residents can come by and see them on weekdays from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

“We want to let people know they can come by and look at the renderings and let us know what they think about what should and should not be in there,” said Newsom.

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