The Children's Park set for expansion

Published on Tuesday, 6 May 2014 23:34 - Written by Kelly Gooch, kgooch@tylerpaper.com

A meditation and prayer garden, a house remodel, construction of a new building and a new deck area are all part of plans for the area around The Children’s Park, at 900 S. Broadway Ave.

Jennifer Carson, president of The Children’s Park of Tyler nonprofit, said when the park opened in 2004, no one anticipated it would be used for large events, such as weddings and the annual Day of Remembrance. The Day of Remembrance has drawn up to 350 people, including children and their families.

After her mother-in-law was in the hospital, she said she also started thinking that the park is a great place close to hospitals for families to come and process thoughts.

Taking all of that into account, an expansion project was proposed.

The proposed expansion includes a remodel of the existing house, “Alison’s House,” which is off of the park’s parking lot, and constructing a building next to it, Ms. Carson said.

She said the office and kitchen would be moved from “Alison’s House” to the new building, which also would include storage space and restrooms.

She said project plans also include constructing a meditation and prayer garden, as well as a large deck and lawn area to accommodate weddings.

The Planning and Zoning Commission recently recommended that the City Council approve a special-use permit for the use of “Alison’s House” for special events, she said. The City Council is scheduled to consider the special-use permit on May 28.

In the meantime, efforts are being made to raise the final amount for construction of the expansion project, Ms. Carson said.

She said the city has contributed money to the project, and private donations also have been made.

Construction on the expansion project would begin when the remaining funds are raised, she said.

As of Tuesday, about $400,000 still was needed for the proposed project.

Ms. Carson said naming opportunities still are available.

For more information about the proposed project, call 903-939-1597.