Northeast Tarrant

North Texas park’s $70 million makeover will now start months later than expected

The Activity Center at Bedford’s Boys Ranch Park on Friday, Sept. 6, 2019. Improvements to the park have been delayed for several months.
The Activity Center at Bedford’s Boys Ranch Park on Friday, Sept. 6, 2019. Improvements to the park have been delayed for several months. Special to the Star-Telegram

Construction on the $70 million bond project to completely rebuild Bedford’s Boys Ranch Park has been delayed until next September.

City manager Brian Bosshardt said previously that work was supposed to start in January on the project, called Phase Next, but design work of the park is only 15 percent complete.

The contract with OWT Architects had a time frame to start construction from the beginning to the middle of 2020, Bosshardt said.

“We are at the tail end of what we projected,” he said.

The $70 million bond package that will fund the project was approved by voters in 2017.

The makeover of the park, where several buildings date back to the 1940s, includes new ballfields, an outdoor aquatics center and a “multi-generational” center.

Councilman Michael Boyter said the change in the construction timeline is “disconcerting.”

He said the information he received indicated that work would start either late this year or in early in 2020. Boyter said council members also asked Bosshardt for regular updates on the progress of Phase Next.

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The Senior Citizens Center at Bedford’s Boys Ranch Park, Bedford, Texas, Friday, Sept. 6, 2019. Bob Booth Special to the Star-Telegram

Bosshardt said one of the reasons why the design work hasn’t progressed more quickly is because decisions had to be made about nonprofit arts organizations which use buildings at the Boys Ranch.

The nonprofits groups and several council members were adamant that the project include the performing arts.

Earlier this summer, the city council voted to spend $5.5 million to add space for the visual and performing arts at the Old Bedford School.

Bosshardt said Onstage Theater and the Arts Council Northeast lease space at the Boys Ranch Park and they will remain in their locations until early July. He added that temporary locations haven’t been found yet.

Two years after the makeover of the Boys Ranch Park lake, problems are bubbling to the surface, and the city is making repairs. Residents want to make sure that turtles, ducks and other wildlife continue to live in a good environment.

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With my guide dog Barbara, I keep tabs on growth, economic development and other issues in Northeast Tarrant cities and other communities near Fort Worth. I’ve been a reporter at the Star-Telegram for 34 years.
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