WACO, TX (FOX 44) — Waco Parks and Recreation Department held a community vision meeting Tuesday evening for the future of Cotton Palace Park.
Its one of the oldest parks in Waco opening in 1894, and the goal is to revitalize the area to represent its historical significance.
Potential layout plans include adding a pavilion, splash pad area, and defined space for baseball.
The South Waco Recreation Center was packed with excitement and concern.
Bill Collins has lived in Waco for nearly 40 years.
In the 90’s he served as president for the Brazos Neighborhood Association providing funds to upgrade Cotton Palace Park.
“It’s been in the South Waco area for years and years and years. Even before I came here,” said Collins. “I always heard about Cotton Palace Park, so it’s been an asset to the community and I think with the new development it’s going to become a great asset.”
On the other hand, Melissa Nomart with Jesus Said Love and survivor advocacy group has a different view.
“We also need to think of our residents that do reside here and not just what makes Waco beautiful, but what also helps the people that do live here.” said Nomart.
She’s been taking her two sons to Waco Child Care for five years.
Nomart receives government assistance to help cover daycare fees.
On Tuesday evening, Nomart and other parents with Waco Child Care staff came to the meeting to make sure the plan doesn’t interfere with their operations located near the park.
“If the City of Waco decides to shut down our daycare, that’s going to put a lot of parents in a bind as far as trying to find childcare that accepts CCS and where we’re going to be able to take our kids so we can be able to work,” said Nomart.
Jonathan Cook with the City of Waco Parks and Recreation Department has been apart of the groundwork since last year leading up to this moment.
He says today’s conversation was well received.
“We’ll be combining these ideas that we get tonight as we fine tune this master plan, and then we’ll begin a phase where we start looking at the scope of the project and what we might be able to accomplish,” said Cook. “We’ll be looking at the phasing to say, okay, future capital improvement budget year, this is what we’re going to be able to accomplish.”
Cook also says their interest will take a couple years before work starts at Cotton Palace Park.