Downtown Sherman may soon have a new park thanks to a partnership between the Sherman Public Library and Parks & Recreation. The city council voted last week to approve a $82,664 contract for the construction of a new park at the corner of Mulberry and Walnut, adjacent to the library lot.


“This will be unlike any other park we have in Sherman,” Parks and Recreation Manager Theresa Hutchinson said during last week’s meeting.


The contract with The Playground, Shade and Surfacing Depot, which was unanimously approved by the council, calls for the construction of a new pavilion and installation of new outdoor musical instruments at the rear of the library. Beyond being used as a park, the site will also be used by the library for its programming.


“It is kind of an extension of the library where we can do our programming, but also a special space that the public can enjoy,” Library Services Administrator MeLissa Eason said Monday.


The proposed lot for the park currently has a few small trees and grass, ringed by sidewalks. Eason said her goal with the project is to have everything built without disturbing the trees.


The idea for the park grew out of talks on how to adapt library programs for an outdoor space. From there, the idea expanded to include a butterfly garden before expanding again to include outdoor instruments, Eason said.The instruments that will be installed will primarily be durable metal percussion instruments including conga and babel drums.


The contract for the site also calls for a duo-top pavilion, which could also be used as a stage for performances or other programming, Hutchinson said. For this project, city officials chose the duo-top design to add aesthetics to the small park, she said.


Council member Sandra Melton noted that the winning bid was not the lowest of the six bids that the city received for the project. Three other bids were submitted that came in under the recommended bid, but these proposals did not include the duo-top design. As such, they were not considered. These three bids ranged from $68,250 to as low as $25,268, which did not include work on the pavilion.


Eason said the project is expected to take only a few months to complete. In addition to the new amenities, the site will also have landscaping work done by the city, she added.


Michael Hutchins is the local government reporter for the Herald Democrat. Contact him at mhutchins@heralddemocrat.com or @mhutchinsHD on Twitter.