ROSWELL, N.M. (KRQE) – The city of Roswell is looking to fill the vacant lot that once housed the Chisum Elementary School. After 14 years, the city is looking to turn the lot into a park. This comes as the city council approved the park’s construction. However, things are moving slow thanks to plan issues and pandemic aftermath.
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The proposed park is off E. Onyx St and S. Virginia St., near S. Main Street. It will have a budget of $400,000 from the state, thanks to city counselors Barry Foster. Foster brought the issue all the way to the state capital and was able to secure Infrastructure Capital Improvement Plan (ICIP) funding.
“The old Chisum school was torn down. It’s just been left there vacant with just cement and with just nothing,” said chair of the Parks and Recreation Commission JaneAnn Oldrup. “We have now decided that we will now make it into a park and because there are kids in that area that don’t have any parks close to where they live.”
However, the city is facing an issue like the rest of the country: no supplies to build with. Jim Burress, Special Services Director for the City of Roswell, says though the pandemic might be winding down, its effects are still being felt when it comes to purchasing raw building materials. “It’s impacting everything. Irrigation pipe is going up in price so we have to get solid quotes and move fast you know. The quotes aren’t good anymore.”
The goal is to install play equipment, like that of the Linda Vista Park as well as other amenities. The city hopes to also install a canopy, grills and benches. The city is mostly looking for the neighborhood input, wanting to gauge what is placed in the park by interviewing residents and see what they would like in their park.
The next step of the plan is to bring on irrigation systems to the park which could take three to six months to begin. This also follows as the city is looking to improve trails near the Spring River Zoo to encourage residents and visitors of the city to head outdoors.
“We found out that you don’t always have to be in large crowds. We can have a great time with close friends and family, said Burres. “Get out into the parks. Get some fresh air, get some exercise, relax, talk to each other face-to-face. Get out of the house.”