March will likely be remembered as the month of renovation and renewal in Celina. Three rather significant reconstruction and remodeling projects will be highlighted during the month, giving our residents a chance to see how the City is honoring our past, and preparing for the future.
While each of the three renovation/reconstruction projects is important in its own way, the largest of these is the reconfiguration of Old Celina Park. We are breaking ground on Thursday, March 5 at 10:00am, initiating the addition of ballparks, a concession building, restrooms, soccer fields, a large parking lot, and hike and bike trails that connect the new section with the original park area. The additions virtually double the size of the park and make use of the land between the original park and FM 455 that has up to now been unused. It’s a huge undertaking that will take a year-and-a-half to complete, but will make Old Celina Park a model for both the appropriate use of open land, as well as how a city can increase recreational options for its citizens and improve their quality of life.
The second project is just as exciting, although much smaller. In late March, the growing popularity of our Public Library is causing it to close for about three weeks so that it can undergo a remodeling and updating. New furniture, new flooring, new shelving, and new books are all planned for the library. More and more residents are making use of the library and its many services, and we want to be sure that we can accommodate all of the heightened interest.
The staff at the library has always been extremely helpful to the many patrons that make use of its resources, and the remodeling and renovation is yet another way for us to show our appreciation for the support that our residents have shown to the facility. It will close on March 16 and plans to reopen on April 3. In anticipation of the closure, staff has made arrangements for patrons to check out a few more books than usual, will suspend late fees during the remodeling period, and will maintain the online services. The external book drop will remain open for returns.
On March 10, the City Council will meet in its new home – the Council Chambers Building at the intersection of Colorado St. and Pecan St. It’s the former First Methodist Church of Celina building that has been converted to a modern, state-of-the-art meeting facility for Council meetings, board and commission meetings, and community meetings. It’s been completely remodeled on the inside, adding high-tech cameras and microphones, allowing residents and interested parties the ability to watch and listen to Council meetings, either in real time or after the live stream is archived. We’ll have a brief ribbon-cutting ceremony before that evening’s Council meeting.
Finally, let me invite all of you to the St. Paddy’s on the Square event on Saturday, March 14. It will be in the downtown area, of course, and will feature an afternoon of Irish dancers, a bagpiper, face painting, bounce houses, and the String Theory Irish Band. It starts at 2:00pm and concludes at 7:00pm. Hope to see you there.
By Mayor Sean Terry