Construction begins on Encino Library playground, exercise area

The Oct. 29 ground-breaking ceremony for the Encino Branch Library playground included, from left, San Antonio Public Library Director Ramiro Salazar, SAPL board members Judy Cruz and Juspreet Kaur, and District 9 City Council Member John Courage. (Edmond Ortiz/Community Impact Newspaper)
The Oct. 29 ground-breaking ceremony for the Encino Branch Library playground included, from left, San Antonio Public Library Director Ramiro Salazar, SAPL board members Judy Cruz and Juspreet Kaur, and District 9 City Council Member John Courage. (Edmond Ortiz/Community Impact Newspaper)

The Oct. 29 ground-breaking ceremony for the Encino Branch Library playground included, from left, San Antonio Public Library Director Ramiro Salazar, SAPL board members Judy Cruz and Juspreet Kaur, and District 9 City Council Member John Courage. (Edmond Ortiz/Community Impact Newspaper)

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The new Encino Branch Library playground and exercise area project will include shade structures, drinking fountains, benches and "mutt mitts" for dog owners. (Edmond Ortiz/Community Impact Newspaper)

The city of San Antonio has started construction of a playground and exercise area next to Encino Branch Library, a place designed to be accessible for all ages and all abilities, local officials said.

A ground-breaking ceremony was held Oct. 29 at the North Side Library, 2515 E. Evans Road, involving District 9 City Council Member John Courage and Ramiro Salazar, San Antonio Public Library director.

Courage said many parents and other residents in neighborhoods surrounding Encino Park Elementary School and Tejeda Middle School want a public place closer to them where children can play and others can exercise in a natural setting.

“I have had questions and concerns about trying to have more facilities that everybody in the community can take advantage of,” Courage said.

The playground will contain slides and other equipment for young children underneath a shaded canopy. A short walking path will connect the playground to another shaded area featuring five new adult exercise equipment stations.



The improvement project will add benches, drinking fountains, trash cans and stations where dog owners may get a bag to pick up after their pets.

Courage said the Encino Library playground and exercise area will appeal to many people because the shade structures and on-site drinking fountains will benefit visitors, especially on hot, sunny days.

The exercise area, Courage added, would be attractive to parents who have children or grandchildren at the playground.

“This time you can bring your kids out here and you can both participate,” Courage said.

Salazar added a highlight of the park includes its accessibility for those of all abilities.

“What’s really neat about this project is that it will be accessible to all. Someone who has a disability will be able to take advantage of the playground and the amenities provided,” Salazar said.

Scheduled for completion in early 2022, the $381,300 project is being funded using money from the District 9 council office’s discretionary fund.

“I hope this is going to be the kind of example of what we can do at our other libraries,” Courage said.

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