Since 1976, Clayton Chandler Park has been home to football and tennis and not much else.
That all changes this summer as the park at 1530 N. Walnut Creek Drive adds new playgrounds, a spray park, lighted basketball courts, a sand volleyball court and a skate park. And the old tennis courts will be redone with new surfacing, lighting, fencing and a shaded plaza area.
The entire Chandler Park project cost $3.5 million and is scheduled to be completed by midsummer.
All these amenities plus a quarter-mile jogging trail had to fit on 13 acres, said Chris Ray, park planner and project manager. He credits La Terra Studios for making the design work.
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“We worked with our design consultant very carefully,” Ray said. “We had to try to figure out all of our elements and the maneuverability through the park itself.”
For example, they didn’t want the Skate Spot to be too close to the playgrounds or splash pads that would used by young children.
Mansfield originally planned a skate park elsewhere in the city, but there were complications with the location. The Skate Spot at Chandler Park will have ramps, a half doughnut and other obstacles primed for skating tricks. The 5,000-square-foot skating area on the east side of the park complies with state safety requirements.
On the west side of the park, there will be two playgrounds, one for ages 2-5 and another for ages 5-12. They will be similar to the playgrounds at Katherine Rose Memorial Park.
The basketball court will be set up with two half courts rather than one full court so there can be two games going at once.
Next to that will be the sand volleyball court.
The spray park will also be a first for Mansfield.
“They’ll be jets shooting up, there will be larger elements where it’s more of a water falling down on the children playing,” Ray said. “You’ll have to hit a button to turn it all on. If nobody is out there, the water won’t just be running.”
The water goes down a drain, gets disinfected and then recycled back into the spray park to save water.
“We try to go as economically responsible as we can because water in Texas is a high commodity,” Ray said.
Trina Gibbs, president of the Mansfield Area Tennis Association, said they are excited about the updated tennis courts and will be meeting with the city soon to discuss possible donations to make them even better.
MATA had originally asked for two more courts to be added to Chandler Park, but that idea was dropped.
“Anything that improves tennis is really beneficial so we would have loved to have more courts there, but they are improving,” Gibbs said.
Instead, the city and Mansfield school district are considering a partnership to allow public use of the tennis courts at Legacy High School.
“There is a plan for a future tennis center that we hope will come to pass at Legacy High School,” Gibbs said.
MATA is using the Legacy courts temporarily while Chandler Park is under construction.
If that arrangement becomes permanent, Gibbs said they could even add two more courts to Legacy High School, bringing the total number of courts there to 12.