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Tomball approves new depot splash pad, plans for work on public improvements

The city of Tomball is moving forward on new projects to improve parks, recreation and pedestrian mobility in the area.

During the Jan. 18 Tomball City Council meeting, city officials awarded a $40,050 construction bid to Aquascapes Pools and Spas to create a second splash pad near the Tomball Historic Depot.

“[The need for this project] is mainly due to the popularity of the first one,” Tomball Public Works Director David Esquivel said. “During the budget process from last year, the council came to us and asked about exploring the option of extending the splash pad simply because of the amount of usage that they saw after the first [one] was put in.”

The council was presented with two options at the Jan. 4 City Council meeting for the construction of a second splash pad. One option involved moving the depot fountain and replacing it with a new splash pad across from the existing pad. The second option included building a second splash pad adjacent to the first and leaving the fountain intact.

Council members agreed leaving the fountain intact would be more feasible and would allow the city to keep a depot landmark.

“[The fountain is] such an entrance to the depot area now that it would be a shame to get away from that,” Tomball Mayor Gretchen Fagan said.

The city approved a schedule to start construction by Feb. 1  and complete the project by March 31, in time for the annual Tomball German Heritage Festival on April 1-3.

The project will either need to be complete before the weekend festival or postponed to start until afterward, according to Tomball City Manager George Shackelford.

Other improvements

Work is also set to begin on sidewalk improvements near the intersection of Quinn and Zion roads near Tomball High School. Repairs will be made to existing sidewalks along Zion Road from Alice Lane to Quinn Road, and new sidewalks will be constructed on the west side of Quinn Road and extended across Zion Road to the east side of the railroad tracks, Esquivel said.

“[For the extension] portion, plans are about 90 percent complete and currently at the [Harris County Precinct 4] office for review,” he said.

Once design plans are complete, Esquivel said the project is expected to be put out for bids by the end of February.

The city is also moving forward on design plans for proposed Broussard Park improvements that would move the existing parking lot to create more space for soccer fields on East Hufsmith Road.

Esquivel said the final size of the park will need to be determined before improvement plans can be completed.

“We’re hoping to get that finalized before we [finish] the layout of the park,” Esquivel said. “If we are able to get [additional] property, it’s definitely going to change the layout and the amenities that we can include.”