Denison’s little pocket park at 226 West Main Street is about to see some upgrades after being added to the Designing Downtown Denison project. The City Council approved a pair of budget amendments totally $169,000 Monday night that includes funding for the design of what city officials refer to as the pocket park.

Denison Main Street Director Donna Dow talked about the importance of the pocket park to the D3 project.

“I think the goal is to have an area where people can gather and relax,” Dow said. “The people working around that area can take a break or get a lunch. In the evening, the people coming to the area to dine can wait there for a table or relax on their way to and from restaurants. Shoppers can gather there, too. If a spouse wanted to wait on someone who is shopping, they can do it there in a comfortable outdoor setting. It will be a relaxing environment with shade.”

Dow said the park is kind of unique in that it wasn’t intended to be a park originally. It was created as a matter of practicality when the building sitting on the lot previously had been demolished after being deemed unsafe. The city planted some grass and placed the rocks there to make it more aesthetically pleasing. Now with theD3 project soon to begin, she said the city will establish it as a pocket park and the design company will create features to make it stand out more.

Dow said the conceptual design for the pocket park included entry planting, a planter seat wall, concrete paving, café seating, a water feature, bench seating, a sliding chaise lounge, shade trees, and a water feature concept. Final design could see some of these features removed or modified.

“On a day like today, it would be perfect to go out and have lunch while you read a book, there’s a lot it can do to accommodate our workers.”

The design of the park was the first amendment that was approved to the D3 project Monday night. The second amendment dealt with ensuring the design company would be accessible to provide input during the construction phase.

The total amendment passed added $169,000 to the price of the project and $72,300 was to cover the design portion of the park. The second amendment was $97,300 for the construction oversight. This will be added to the already approved $800,000 to the Toole Design Group the design portion of phase one.

Denison City Manager Jud Rex said the city has been working with the Tool Design Group for the last 12 months on the design process. He said the two amendments were crucial in moving the project forward. He said the next step is to hold a public meeting Nov. 12 to show the final plans for the project. At that time the city will be pre-qualifying contractors. The bidding process is expected to being around by early next year, sometime in January or February. Construction should begin by May.

“We’re excited to move forward and we’re glad to be working on this project,” Rex said.