Old Settlers Park in Round Rock was busy May 21 with an influx of visitors celebrating the park's newest addition.

Residents joined city leaders for the grand opening of Yonders Point grand opening with a Movie in The Park, “Jumanji: The Next Level,” food and drinks from Craft & Racked Wine Bar, and live music from the Jazz Daddies.

Roger Heaney, who works with the Round Rock Parks and Recreation’s communication unit, said Yonders Point was created to provide a space to rest and relax in an otherwise busy park. The area also serves as an additional venue for events. As a gathering place, if a family wants to make a memory there, it is the highest compliment, Heaney said.

“We want families to make memories and we're passionate about that,” Heaney said. “So what we do is try and provide events and places that are worthy of a picture that they'll put up on the mantel. Because we consider that kind of our greatest goal. If somebody takes a picture of one of our events in our facilities, and it makes it up on their wall, or on their fireplace, we've done our job.”

The project was funded through the Lower Colorado River Authority and the city’s tree fund. The city previously sold a utility easement in Mayfield Park to the LCRA, and the funds were used to add amenities to other city parkland.

In October, Round Rock City Council approved two contracts for the project. One was for site work through Partners Remodeling, Recreation and Waterproofing LLC for $209,664.50, and the other for irrigation lines through WLE LLC for $164,645.47.

Round Rock Mayor Craig Morgan said Yonders Point was born out of a need to provide more outdoor resources to residents, which became apparent during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Old Settlers [Park] might be one of our greatest assets,” Morgan said. “When the pandemic hit, we started seeing families gather [here] because we were one of the only cities that kept their parks open the whole year. And so the parks [department] created this vision of a place to gather and we’re seeing it tonight.”

Heaney said the project has been in the works for about six months. The city broke ground in December.

The project’s progress was not impeded by the shortage of construction materials that caused a continued price spike, Heaney said.

“I think there was only one thing, doing the monument sign out front since metal has gotten a little bit scarce,” Heaney said. “The company that we work with was able to secure two pieces of metal together to create the monument entry sign that says Yonders Point. Other than that we were kind of far along in the project and so we didn't really run into those types of roadblocks.”

Parks and Recreation Director Rick Atkins said the Yonders Point project started at just the right time, just ahead of major price increases for building materials.

“We were really lucky, when we decided to get this project going, we were at the front end of all those projects, so we were able to get the product that we needed right before everybody was really impacted,” Atkins said.

Construction finished May 20, Heaney said. An additional sculpture by Art Fairchild—a vertical metal windmill that will be in the center of the park—will be installed at a later date. Combined with the view, Heaney said the venue would be a great place for locals to host events such as parties and weddings and to use as a backdrop for graduation photos.

Megan and Ryan Hicks said they moved to Round Rock eight months ago, specifically due to the draw of Old Settlers Park. They brought their children to the park to enjoy the event, which was geared toward families.

“We moved to this area because we like the park and the services that Round Rock brings,” Ryan Hicks said. “That was the main drawing point.”