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PA Council commissions design work for parks upgrades

Port Arthur is proceeding with plans to renovate Peoples Park on Procter Street, turning it into a statement piece in downtown Port Arthur, as well as planting trees and shrubs to enhance the pavilion.
Both projects are part of the Procter Street Masterplan completed by the city’s Parks and Recreation Department in 2011.
At their regular meeting Tuesday, City Council voted to spend up to $54,000 on architectural plans for both projects.
The LaBiche Architectural Group, of Beaumont, will develop  a holistic plan and design for the renovations.
The total construction budget for the upgrades is $600,000 made available from EDC grant funding for parks project. Of that, $400,000 is for the park and the remaining $200,000 is for the pavilion.
At Peoples Park, the city plans to add a new waterpark/fountain feature, renovate existing amenities as well as utility amenities.
Port Arthur Mayor Deloris “Bobbie” Prince said the latest enhancements would build upon what has already been accomplished in the city’s downtown.
The new EDC building at 501 Procter Street opened in March, while initial renovations to the pavilion were completed in 2014. The Port Arthur Rotary Club’s International Avenue of Flags is up, and a bog at the Jefferson County sub-courthouse has just been completed.
“This is just another step in the process of revitalizing of downtown Port Arthur to accommodate the citizens,” Prince said Wednesday.
In May, the city’s Economic Development Corporation in conjunction with the city had a stakeholders meeting designed to provide direction to future development of the city’s downtown.
At the meeting, architect Don LaBiche detailed the Procter Street Master Plan and invited input from the audience.
He suggested landscaping around the pavilion to soften the look. Currently, there is no landscaping, only barren asphalt.
Though some in attendance suggested Peoples Park be geared more for children, LaBiche indicated the pocket park was not large enough to accommodate a playscape.
The LaBiche firm is in the process of developing a master plan for the Rose Hill park that includes a spray park for children, tennis courts, a covered pavilion, and more.
E-mail: sherry.koonce@panews.com
Twitter: skooncePANews