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Fixing up Prairie Pete - Odessa American: News

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Fixing up Prairie Pete

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Posted: Wednesday, October 31, 2007 12:00 am

Prairie Pete and his friends at Sherwood Park are getting close to a makeover after the City of Odessa and Parkhill, Smith and Cooper Inc. set up a town meeting to generate ideas for renovations to the historic Odessa park.

“We’ve wiped the slate clean,” Steve Patton, director of the Parks and Recreation Department, said Tuesday night at the Sherwood Park Community Center. “We have all these ideas out there, and we’re just seeing what the people want.”

Most of those in attendance were only interested in a skate park.

Of the $3 million that was available for the renovations, Chad Davis, landscape architect for Parkhill, Smith and Cooper, Inc., said $700,000 would go towards the irrigation system.

“That irrigation system is really old, and it’s failing,” he said.

Davis said the other $2.3 million would go toward park improvements and other needs during renovations.

One of the top subjects was the playground equipment, which Davis said was much needed.

“Maybe it’s time for Prairie Pete to get a face lift,” Davis said. “We’re very excited about the pos-sibilities.”

For many at the meeting, Prairie Pete was the least of their concerns, and they showed that with skateboards in hand.

“Sherwood is kind of central, so it’d be great for a skate park,” Donovan King, 12, said right after skating around the community building. “There’s a big need for a skate park. I think it’d be the most popular part of Sherwood if it’s built.”

More than 30 teenagers who supported the skate park went to the meeting.

Meanwhile, Anita Jones said she felt there was a need for pavement around the park so people like herself can walk.

“We definitely need a walking trail,” she said. “It’s just tough to walk in the grass, so I always have to walk in the street.”

Davis said the ideas would be finalized by July 2008 and construction would begin in the same month.

Davis said it would be up to a year before construction would be complete.

Here are some of the ideas that were generated during Tuesday’s meeting:

>> A new irrigation system throughout the park. The current system is 20 years old.

>> Renovations of the Prairie Pete playground area.

>> New playground equipment that will meet safety standards and is accessible to youths with disabilities.

>> A covered basketball pavilion.

>> Additional parking areas for the Aquatic Facility as well as more parking on the streets.

>> Additional off-street parking and an access road for the soccer and large baseball field.

>> Renovation of the existing Little League fields.

>> Additional picnic facilities.

>> Skate park.

>> Disc golf.

>> A pavilion for concerts and theater.

>> Renovations of the tennis courts.

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