Georgetown’s San Gabriel Park gets $3.6 million for new expansion


San Gabriel Park is set for a new round of growth following Georgetown City Council approval Tuesday of a $3.6 million expansion.

The approval funds the second of four phases of expansion and renovation of San Gabriel Park proposed through the park’s 2015 master plan. Splitting additions into four phases will allow the park to remain open during construction, according to the city’s parks and recreation department.

An initial phase of expansion—which includes traffic-calming measures, pavilions, restrooms, parking, a trailhead and entry monuments with signage—should finish in June.

Construction on the second phase is anticipated to begin in July and finish by June 2019, according to the city.

Park additions in the second phase include:

  • entry monuments
  • roadway and parking improvements
  • 4 “medium-size” picnic and barbecue pavilions
  • 10 smaller picnic pavilions
  • one large multiuse pavilion
  • 2 children’s play areas
  • additional trails and trailheads
  • restoration of two existing springs in the park
  • one new restroom building
  • lighting for two existing volleyball courts
  • one new basketball court
  • signage
  • open space and landscaping

The second phase will also include a trail extension to connect a new walking trail between the park and the Katy Crossing neighborhood.

Funding for the expansion comes from bond-sales proceeds through a parks bond package approved by Georgetown voters in 2008, according to the Georgetown Parks Director Kimberly Garrett.

Council members voted unanimously Tuesday to award a construction contract to Ritter-Botkin Prime Construction Co. of Pflugerville, which was the lowest bidder out of five bidders on the project.

The company is also finishing construction of the 525-acre Garey Park on FM 2243, which is scheduled to open June 9, according to the city.

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  1. There is much more to the continuing saga of the grand renovation to San Gabriel Park, Georgetown’s Central Park, that actually began in 2007 with the 2007 Parks Master Plan and the 2008 Parks Bond that proposed detailed plans for the renovation. The renovations and improvements were promised to be completed in 8-10 years, but it’s likely that it’ll be 4-6 more years before Phase 4 is completed.

    The challenge with bond elections that are passed on promises to do specific improvements, but then aren’t completed as promised and as planned is a huge credibility problem that ultimately rests with City Council and its credibilty.

    After resident surveys and visioning sessions with community members, a grand amphitheater was planned at the former site of Birkelbach Stadium, but after City Council nixed the plans nd voted no on the issuance of bond funds in 2010 to start design and construction , the Park and Rec Staff requested another Master Plan Update in 2012 and began the entire visioning process from the start. The amphitheater plan was canceled and a huge open space was proposed instead that could be used for stages and concerts.

    Now 10 years after the 2008 Parks Bond , Parks and Rec Director Kimberly Garrett says that the grand space where the football stadium once was, the amphitheater was planned for, and the latest Auditorium Shores grand open space was to built is now under consideration for another plan. Perhaps, the study to build and operate a Natatorium with Georgetown ISD has created mixed emotions and a plan to expand the Rec Center and build a huge parking lot is what’s next.

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