Parks & Rec unveils canopies as part of improvement projects
By PAMELA GRANT
The canopies have only been up since early March, but already Cove families are enjoying the shade offered by the new shade canopies at parks across the city.
Copperas Cove Parks and Recreation showed off the new canopies Tuesday at noon with a Q&A session where they talked about the completed Shade Canopy Project. The event was held by the City Park large playground, but they also installed canopies at the City Park small playground, High Chaparral Park, South Park, and at the Hills of Cove driving range.
“It was a really good buy,” said Fred Chavez, City Councilman and liaison for the Quality of Life Board. “Whenever it’s hot—and it’s always hot—there’s gonna be shade. And that’s cool.”
The canopy project was made possible thanks to Parks and Recreation with support from the City of Copperas Cove and the Quality of Life Advisory Board
The project, which ended up costing $149,897, was initially recommended by the Quality of Life Advisory Board in September 2020. The city ultimately approved a project bid by Playground Shade and Surfacing Depot out of Keller, Texas who began designing and engineering for the project in October 2020. Construction was started towards the end of January 2021 and, despite some delays caused by February’s freeze, were ultimately able to complete construction by the first week of March. The sturdy canopies should last for ten years and should have minimal color fading for at least six years and are made to withstand temperatures down to -77 degrees and as hot as 167 degrees.
Parks and Recreation Director, Jeff Stoddard, said that part of the reason that they chose the Shade Canopy Project was to give the citizens a quick victory.
Chavez said that the canopies have a direct impact on families in Copperas Cove and said that he expects for families to spend even more time at the park now that their kids can play in a shadier, cooler area.
Quality of Life board members Amy Williams and Shawn Alzona were both excited about how nice the canopies turned out.
“It’s amazing. They surpassed my expectations,” said Williams.
“We just hope it brings the kids out,” said Alzona.
The two said that the citizens really help them to decide which projects should be prioritized. They said that they often ask people on Facebook about what projects or improvements they would like to see. From there, the board members choose some of the more realistic and popular ideas and try to make them a reality.
The canopy project is just one of the department’s larger, multi-phase, multi-year, multimillion-dollar parks renovation project. The project began initially with parking lots and ADA accessibility, as well as monument signs for the park system. Up soon will be the long-anticipated restroom project, also part of the overall plan.
Both the Quality of Life Advisory board members and Stoddard said that they are hopeful that they will be able to make progress towards replacing the City Park restrooms.
All proposals for the restrooms have a deadline of April 2. They will then review each of the applications, possibly conducting additional interviews, before hopefully making a selection. Stoddard said that he expects to see “quick movement” after they make that selection particularly once they start building. Once they have the final prices for the cost of building the restrooms, they will have an idea of their remaining funds and then choose which projects to proceed with from there.Parks & Rec unveils canopies as part of improvement projects