McAllen: City Commission Signs Agreement with County, School District for All-Inclusive Park
Feature Photo: The proposed all-inclusive playground park will be located on the north end of the McAllen Youth Baseball Complex, and on adjacent land owned by the McAllen ISD. Image: Google Streets.
by Adolfo Pesquera
McAllen (Hidalgo County) — The McAllen City Commission on Monday signed onto an agreement with its school district, Hidalgo County and Capable Kids Foundation Inc. to construct an all-inclusive park that will be located on the grounds of Blanca E. Sanchez Elementary.
The Memorandum of Understanding came after several of discussions between the stakeholders and it is a cost sharing agreement whereby each party agrees to contribute something to realize a park that is friendly to children with disabilities.
For its part, the city agrees to construct restrooms and a surface parking lot on city property that is adjacent to the elementary school at 2901 Incarnate Word Avenue. The actual playground will be on land owned by McAllen Independent School District.
The city facilities intended for what is being referred to as the Sanchez Elementary Playground will be located at the north end of the McAllen Youth Baseball Complex, a large athletic complex at 8201 N. 29th Street that was constructed in 2018.
The school district considers the site under its ownership to be excess land. The school district Board of Trustees signed onto the agreement at their Aug. 31 regular meeting. The school district will act as fiscal agent for the construction and maintenance of the project, and will provide a rendering of the park. The school district is also responsible for all internal staff administrative costs of the project.
Hidalgo County has agreed to contribute $350,000 to the school district within 60 days of written confirmation that Capable Kids has come up with a $350,000 match.
A second deadline arrives 90 days after signing of the MOU, at which time the school district is to order a playscape from a manufacturer. The playscape is to be delivered 150 days after signing of the MOU or approximately by the end of January 2021.
Based in McAllen, Capable Kids is a nonprofit organization that provides social and recreational events in the Rio Grande Valley for children of all ages with disabilities.
Adolfo Pesquera (Reporter/Editor) is a veteran news journalist. He has worked for Hearst Corp., American Lawyer Media, News Corp and Freedom Communications. His work has been published in newspapers and magazines across the USA. He is a journalism graduate of UT-RGV. He writes, edits and creates digital pages for VBX.