LAWTON, Okla. (TNN) - As Lawton City Council works to complete the capital improvements projects extension plan, city departments are working to get their projects included and receive the extra funding.
Parks and Recreation Director Jack Hanna said a limited budget has really put the department at a disadvantage, but If they can be on the CIP, he said they will install a Master Plan.
In it, the department will map out the future of Lawton Parks.
The Master Plan idea is something Parks and Rec Director Jack Hanna said has been in the works for some time, but they couldn’t act on it without a funding channel.
Hanna said, “This opportunity with the CIP, we just thought ‘hey let’s take this chance’ and have this opportunity to get the plan done, so we have a direction and road map.”
Ross Hankins works alongside Hanna as the Parks and Rec commission Chairman, and he said money given to their department can help change the way people view Lawton.
Hankis said, “If people come to a baseball field, or come to a football field, what do they see? They see old run down stuff. The playing field is really good, but what they see around it are fences that haven’t been replaced in 40 years. Concession stands and bathrooms that are dilapidated.”
With the Master Plan still in it’s early stages of planning, Hanna said they had a crucial meeting today, where they learned what needs to be done before it can be finalized.
“Look at all of our parks individually, kind of get our senses of population in the areas, and get our thoughts on how the parks are being used. Then we formulate from there,” said Hanna.
Without a set list of priorities yet, Hankins and Hanna mentioned a number of parks that needed work including Lee West, Grandview, and the one they both said needs to be at the top of list.
“Ahlschlager Park is probably our oldest sports complex that we have,” said Hanna.
'I grew up playing baseball and football in that park, and it has not had a major renovation in decades," said Hankins.
“Definitely that’s one area we have big interest in, it needs a lot more upgrading," said Hanna.
Hanna said with 80 parks in Lawton, it will take some time to get the entire plan worked out, but he said his office did some basic projections on totals for the ideas they will propose, and that will likely reach close to 50 million dollars.