Demolition, fundraising underway to bring downtown park to Lubbock

Published: Aug. 23, 2022 at 10:01 PM CDT|Updated: Aug. 23, 2022 at 10:28 PM CDT
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LUBBOCK, Texas (KCBD) - The demolition phase is almost complete to bring the new Civic Park downtown, where the former LP&L building was off Broadway.

Project leaders say as the site is being prepared for the park, committee members are working to fundraise and finalize design plans with developers.

Demolition began in mid-June, and Brianna Gerardi, the business development director for the City of Lubbock, says it has moved quickly.

“So, now we’re doing a lot of site cleanup. They are demolishing the basement structures, and then we’ll start with backfill materials. We anticipate demolition will be complete and the site will be fenced and cleaned up by the end of the year,” she said.

Gerardi says landscaping and architecture firm TBG Partners is about halfway through with design development and construction documents. She says the goal is to raise about $9 million before construction begins.

“We’ve made some significant progress towards fundraising, but we still have a long way to go, and so fundraising will really determine when we officially break ground,” she said.

Lubbock’s Central Business District Tax Increment Financing Board has already put $2 million towards the project. Chairman Dan Williams says there have been some misconceptions, but the park is all privately funded.

Tuesday, City Council approved the third $500,000 grant from the Helen Jones Foundation to support the park.

Williams says originally, the park was set to cost anywhere from $10 million to $14 million, but the project is subject to inflation, so numbers are being updated to reflect the final design. A citizen-led fundraising committee is now identifying key donors, and key components of the park entities may be interested in.

“Now that we’ve got a grant writer, we can start going after some of the bigger asks and try to find somebody that wants to name the park and some of the features of the park,” Williams said.

Right between Broadway and 13th Street, Gerardi says the park will change the landscape of downtown and be a catalyst for development. Williams says it will be totally different than any park people in Lubbock are used to.

“There’s yoga in the park. There’s movies in the park. There’s live music and events and food trucks, so that’s really the exciting part about it, is to have something that the whole community can share in. It’s a big gathering place for everybody, not just a park that has grass and some trees,” he said.

After six months of gathering input from the community, the city chose to move forward with a wind and water design. One corner is expected to showcase local artists, there are plans to have a large event lawn with a covered stage structure, a splash pad and a small pet area.

“There’s a lot of excitement around what’s going on and hopefully, we just want the city to know about it, to know that we’ve got something that’s really cool that people are going to be able to enjoy year round,” Williams said.

The plan is to create a park conservancy, or nonprofit, to manage all oversight and maintenance. Gerardi says the goal is to fundraise enough to get that going. She hopes construction will start by next summer and expects it to take about one year to complete.

Once renderings are finalized and fundraising gets rolling, project leaders plan to relaunch, so people can see the designs, find out how to get involved, and get fundraising and construction updates. Gerardi says that should be back online within 60 days.