Sherman in planning to invest about $140,000 in extensive improvements to Cherry Street Park in coming months. The City Council voted unanimously Monday night to request bids for a series of upgrades to the park during a meeting Monday night.


Earlier this year, the city was able to invest $10,000 toward the purchase of new playground equipment thanks to a donation by the Sherman Rotary Club. This new round of projects will be financed using funds provided annually by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. The Community Development Block Grant program provides funds to municipalities for project and improvements centered on low to moderate-income areas and neighborhoods.


“Cherry Street Park is a project we are prepared to improve with funds from a community development block grant,” Sherman Parks and Recreation Manager Theresa Hutchinson said Thursday. “All of these new amenities will enhance the equipment that is already there.”


With these funds, the city will be able to finance the project with improvements without the need for low-tax funding, Hutchinson said.


The new improvements will provide increased accessibility throughout the park while also providing new seating, picnic tables and a pavilion for park visitors. Hutchinson said the improvement project will include new sidewalks that will form a loop around the west side of the park. A bridge that crosses over a creek that runs through the park will also be replaced with a bridge that is compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act.


The park’s basketball courts, which have been a popular attraction, are still in good shape and do not need repair or improvement, Hutchinson said. However, the project will see the fence around the courts replaced and a new sidewalk will give more access to the site.


While the majority of the improvements are oriented around accessibility, Hutchinson said a swing set is also included in the proposed list of projects.


The city first started envisioning the improvements to Cherry Street Park earlier this spring, but the improvements were envisioned as a part of the city’s 2017 park improvement plan.


The city has not received bids or a final cost for the project yet, but Hutchinson said the city estimates that it will be somewhere in the $140,000 range.


Throughout the process, Hutchinson said there may be temporary closure of some amenities, but she expects these will be brief and limited in area. Currently city officials expect the park improvements will be completed some time in the summer of 2020.