Residents who attended two recent forums to talk about proposed improvements to the Boys Ranch Park told Bedford council members and city officials that they want a performing arts center as part of the plan, and athletic facilities were also high on the wish list.
People made their wishes known during a standing-room-only meeting July 20 and again last week. Many of those who attended wore red T-shirts in support of Onstage in Bedford, which leases space at Boys Ranch.
Don Vogel said he wants the city to be a “destination.”
“Onstage has done a good job of pulling in people to see shows,” he said. “We have a little gem here. Let’s not screw it up.”
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Another resident, Roger Galenstein, agreed.
“We need people from Grapevine, North Richland Hills and Euless to come to Bedford. We want a performing arts center that encompasses Onstage and the performing arts. We want the best, [and] we market ourselves as ‘discover the center.’ The question is, discover the center of what?” he said.
The city is also asking people to complete a survey.
In August, the City Council will discuss the survey results and the ideas from the public meetings and determine what to include in a Nov. 7 bond package.
If the city chose to do all projects recommended by consulting firm Kimley-Horn, the price tag would be $70 million.
Besides Onstage, the Boys Ranch Park includes a senior center, activity center, and Bedford Splash. The buildings that house Onstage, the senior center and activity center don’t meet current codes, city officials said.
Councilman Roger Fisher said it is important to get comments from the public, saying that the decisions of what will be included will come from Bedford residents.
“Bedford doesn’t come to the public very often. One day or another we are going to have to do something,” he said referring to the needed improvements at the Boys Ranch Park.
Meanwhile, Tom Jacobson, chairman of the city’s cultural affairs commission, said it is important for people to remember that the Boys Ranch Park is in Bedford’s cultural center.
“We don’t want to remove culture for the Boys Ranch Park,” Jacobson said. “We want to keep it and add to it. The only things I think we need are better facilities and signage.”
An athletics facility is also important to Bedford residents who want to see the city become a hub for families to participate in baseball, volleyball and other sports.