The next phase in San Jacinto Plaza’s evolution into a modern park will begin this week in Downtown El Paso, with a groundbreaking that will mark the beginning of the next stage of construction that is expected to last 12 months.
|This concept image of the eastern edge of San Jacinto Plaza shows an interactive “splash pad,” shade trees, and benches (City of El Paso)|
The first phase, which was completed late last year, included expanding the park by 10 feet in each direction. The new design took over the lane of parking that surrounded the plaza. Other phase one work included preparing the park for improvements.
Now, the next phase of the multi-million dollar renovation of the park will fill it with new amenities as well as keeping some of San Jacinto Plaza’s historical elements. A full-service café will be added on the western edge of the plaza and will most likely be leased out to a food vendor.
|This bird's eye view of San Jacinto Plaza's redesign shows a large shade canopy in the middle of the park which will protect the Los Lagartos sculpture. (City of El Paso)|
On the other side of the park, an interactive water feature will be lit with LED lighting, and a horseshoe/washer sand pit will be located just to its north. Other amenities include café tables and chairs, bike racks, drinking fountains, benches, activity spaces for table tennis and chess, and a stage. Signage will also be installed throughout the plaza.
The large Afghan Pine that is used as the Christmas tree during the holiday season was saved and will continue to fill that role. And the Los Lagartos sculpture, currently undergoing rehabilitation in Ohio, will once again take its place at the plaza’s center. This time, it will have a shade canopy installed above it that will protect it from the elements.
Construction is expected to be completed in early 2015. The project was awarded in January to Basic IDIQ, Inc., a construction firm with an office in El Paso.
The groundbreaking will be held Wednesday, February 26, 2014, at 11:00 a.m.