Home Community North Side projects seeing fruition

North Side projects seeing fruition

A rendering of San Antonio’s planned District 9 multigenerational center. Courtesy illustration/Beaty Palmer Architects

A park and A community center, a restored creek and flower-inspired art are among new or ongoing public projects currently underway on the North Side.

Design work is finished on both the Classen-Steubing Ranch Park in Stone Oak and a District 9 senior facility, San Antonio officials said.

Meanwhile, planning is underway on the Panther Springs Creek project, and a Helotes artist is helping to enhance another north San Antonio park.

The city planned to begin accepting bids Nov. 3 on development of Classen-Steubing Ranch Park, which covers 39 acres of former Classen-Steubing family ranch land near Huebner Road and Hardy Oak Boulevard.

Rialto Studio oversaw the design for the city’s newest park.

The space is envisioned as a recreational destination for far North Siders, complete with trails, athletic fields, a playground and possibly areas for educational activities and small community gatherings.

With a local office near Mahncke Park downtown, the design firm also was responsible for the Hardberger Park land bridge scheduled to open later this fall.

San Antonio conducted a virtual meeting Sept. 8 to update residents and other stakeholders about the 2017 bond-funded Classen-Steubing project.

The referendum set aside $9.4 million for acquisition of ranch land and for initial public-parkland development.

Bidding will commence soon, followed by evaluations and staff recommendations to City Council.

“Once we receive City Council approval, construction will begin.  We are targeting construction beginning in 2021,” said Paul Berry, chief communications officer for the Public Works Department.

Beaty Palmer Architects has finished the design for another 2017 bond project, the District 9 multigenerational center to be built on a vacant lot at 840 W. Rhapsody Drive.

The city had received and evaluated general-contractor bids by mid-October, and as of press time was negotiating with the top one.

Berry said San Antonio should be ready to award the construction project with the council’s OK at the end of the  year.  Work is slated to begin in early 2021 and last nearly one year.

Designed to primarily serve older adults, the $14.6 million facility will also accommodate youths and younger grown-ups, plus offer the District 9 community municipal information and links to municipal services.

The city is currently working with the San Antonio River Authority on designs for revamping Stone Oak’s Panther Springs Creek.

Improvements to the existing natural channel, including a water-flow upgrade and removal of standing water, is in order for the $1.1 million 2017 bond project.

Flowing through the heart of Panther Springs Park, a public green space, the stream is part of the upper Salado Creek watershed.

“The next steps for this project is to finalize design, then advertise and seek bids for a construction contractor, and start construction,” Berry said. “The consultant and (SARA) are planning to finish (the) design by the end of the year and start construction early next year around February 2021.”

Added SARA engineer Christine Clayton, “The (Panther Springs Creek) project will alleviate excessive ponding in the channel and improve drainage at the upstream and downstream culverts on Blanco Road.”

If all goes well, the restoration will be complete by September 2021.

A little to the south, at Eisenhower Park near Joint Base San Antonio-Camp Bullis, another undertaking is shaping up.

The city has commissioned Helotes’ Leticia Huerta, a public-art specialist, to help lead “Bloom,” a series of artistic endeavors highlighting park trailheads and informing visitors about the environs.

At the city’s request, Huerta already created three flowerlike sculptures for a McAllister Park trail. Inspired by the cyclists riding its routes, the flowers are made from recycled bicycle parts.

The city has commissioned Huerta to do the same at Eisenhower Park, with hopes to place similar 14- to 16-foot-tall “Bloom” sculptures all along the Howard W. Peak Greenway Trail System.

Debbie Racca-Sittre, director of the city’s Department of Arts and Culture, described the floral images as worthy additions to the trailheads.

“When people are going on these trails, it’s like way-finding,” she added.

The McAllister Park flowers also have educational elements explaining the history of that park’s floodplain history.

A comparable installation is planned for the River Walk where the Torch of Friendship is located.

The trail eventually will encircle the city.

“We want to connect all the city, all the way, and through downtown,” Racca-Sittre said.


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