Northeast Tarrant

Onstage in Bedford staying put, city officials say in response to worries

Onstage in Bedford at Bedford Boys Ranch on Jan. 28, 2015.
Onstage in Bedford at Bedford Boys Ranch on Jan. 28, 2015. Star-Telegram archives

When volunteers from Onstage in Bedford saw that preliminary proposals to improve the Boys Ranch Park did not mention the theater, they went to work.

After sending a barrage of emails to city officials and City Council members, they learned that there was no intention to exclude Onstage from plans to improve the park.

“It was kind of a total shock,” said Onstage President Mike Hathaway of his initial reaction. “The plans for the Boys Ranch had three proposed layouts. In every single layout, where Onstage sits is a road or soccer field.”

Hathaway said that when he met with city officials Friday, they apologized and assured him that it was an “oversight not to include Onstage.

Natalie Foster, a spokeswoman for the city, said, “By no means did we want to exclude them. Onstage brought this to our attention. We are letting them know that we haven’t decided a thing.”

Last month, the City Council met to discuss Phase Next, a proposed project to improve Boys Ranch Park, where some of the buildings, including Onstage, date back to the 1940s and don’t meet current city codes.

Bedford is seeking input from the public on what improvements they want to see. Residents are asked to complete a survey by Aug. 1, and there are two public meetings, one at 7 p.m. Thursday and the other July 27 at the former library building, 1805 L. Don Dodson Drive.

The City Council will meet in August to decide on what to include in a Nov. 7 bond election. The council will have to call the election next month.

Cost estimates from Kimley-Horn, the design consulting firm the city hired, are $35 million for indoor and $35 million for outdoor facility improvements.

Two years ago, Bedford made numerous improvements to the Boys Ranch Lake including dredging, building two fishing piers and removing an island that attracted waste and silt.

Meanwhile, Hathaway said he will wait to see what the final decision is from the council.

“We are not 100 percent safe,” he said.

Elizabeth Campbell: 817-390-7696, @fwstliz

At the completely made-over pond — now lined with concrete and with steeper embankments — the slow-moving amphibians were having a tough time getting in and out of the water. So city workers have installed three exit ramps made of rocks to make na

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