TEXAS CITY — Texas City’s handicapped-accessible park has all new equipment and is set to be rededicated Friday.
Rainbow Park has been at 900 Bay Street since moving from Nessler Park in 1999, said Dennis Harris, co-director of the recreation and tourism department.
“It was designed as a fully accessible playground for children with disabilities,” he said. “In its day, it was state of the art.”
But after 15 years, it was time for some upgrades.
Harris said the city spent about $200,000 to install all new play structures, to build the existing infrastructure into the park and to install a rubber surface that both provides a safe cushion and is firm enough for a wheelchair to roll over, among other upgrades.
The park includes a ship-themed area, a treehouse-themed section and a more free-form play area.
There are slides, swings, rock climbing walls and other features, many of which are accessible and can be used by children with disabilities.
“(The park) gives a child with a disability the ability to integrate with another child that is there playing and not feel isolated,” Harris said. “That’s the distinct difference with this particular (park).”
Providing children with disabilities an opportunity to play is exactly what Larry Edrozo was hoping to accomplish when he helped fund the park when it was moved to its Bay Street location in 1999.
A section of the park is named after his daughter, Laura Edrozo, who was handicapped, Larry Edrozo said.
He said he and his family where pleased with the upgrades made at the park.
Larry Edrozo will speak during the rededication ceremony at 9:30 a.m. Friday.
His daughter passed away in 1994 when she was nearly 4 years old, Larry Edrozo said. It was devastating, he said, but there was also a lot of support from the community.
“When anybody’s child goes, it seems like there is always an outpouring from the community, which is a good thing because children aren’t supposed to go before their parents,” he said.
At first, he and his wife weren’t sure exactly what they would do with the money that was being donated to a fund that had been set up in their daughter’s name, he said.
But eventually he came across a park the Lion’s Club had built at Nessler Park. The green space around the Doyle Convention Center was being expanded so it made sense to move the park.
Larry Edrozo said he was able to put the $10,000 that had been donated toward moving the park and dedicating it to handicapped children.
“The spirit of a child never goes away because the spirit is maintained and carried on in the laughter of other children that come by and play in that park,” he said. “That’s why we did it.”
At a Glance
WHAT: Rededication ceremony of Rainbow Park
WHEN: 9:30 a.m. Friday
WHERE: Rainbow Park, 900 Bay Street