City begins water treatment plant demolition for Labonte Park update

2022-08-21 17:00:24 By : Ms. Jojo Hou

The city of Corpus Christi announced the demolition of the Cunningham Water Treatment Plant on Friday, allowing the city not only to double the acreage of Labonte Park but also to add new features and amenities.

The Cunningham Water Treatment Plant, built in 1915, has been abandoned since the 1980s. Earlier this year, the city announced plans to remove the former water treatment plant and develop 40 more acres with trails, camping grounds and more throughout the park space.

“This is the gateway to our city,” Mayor Paulette Guajardo said. "It is a historical day because we are revitalizing and we are enhancing parkland that has sat stagnant for 34 years.”

Labonte Park is nestled in northwest Corpus Christi along the Nueces River and is the first city asset seen while driving into the city from Interstate Highway 37 south.

“It has been my passion, my vision to have the gateway of Corpus Christi that people are welcome to the city,” District 1 Councilman Billy Lerma said. “This is one of the main entrances to Corpus Christi. We need to do much more to it.”

The master plan, designed by Levy Dykema Architects, includes sports fields, a walking trail along the Nueces River, a kayak launch, recreational vehicle hookups, camping grounds, and improved lighting and signage.

Renderings of the park show a boardwalk, observation tower, play area, picnic grove, bathhouse, a kayak launch and a gathering pavilion.

“We heard what our residents wanted during the pandemic,” Lerma said. “They were going outside, but our parks were lacking. So we listened and we’re going to be able to put money into this park.”

Corpus Christi City Council awarded a $1.7 million contract for the project using fiscal year 2022 funding from the Water Capital Fund.

Construction on the project is expected to be complete in February 2023.

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