Tuesday, March 8, 2022

Projects at Dick Nichols Park


Largest Council office expenditure will fund new splash pad, pickleball, court resurfacing

Council Member Paige Ellis announced her office is allocating more than $100,000 for long-needed upgrades to Dick Nichols Park in the heart of District 8, with work beginning immediately. Southwest Austin residents will soon enjoy a new splash pad, a resurfaced basketball court, a new combination pickleball and volleyball court, new seating, and more. This project represents the single largest investment on parkland by a city council member to date.
“Dick Nichols Park is a well-loved community asset, and District 8 families will be able to enjoy these park improvements for years to come,” said Council Member Paige Ellis. “This park is where kids come to learn how to ride a bike or swim, where teams meet up to play sports, and where runners can log their miles on the Violet Crown Trail. Through creative and efficient management of my council office budget, I am able to partner with PARD to prioritize upgrades to Dick Nichols Park and put these dollars right back into the community I serve.”
Council Member Ellis will announce the upgrades on Saturday, March 5 at 9:00 a.m. at Dick Nichols District Park, as It’s My Park Day kicks off with the Austin Parks Foundation. Renderings will be unveiled, and tours will be available, as 75+ volunteers get to work on a park cleanup.
Dick Nichols Park upgrades include:
  • A new and improved splash pad, which preserves the beloved Dick Nichols Seal as the centerpiece
  • A pickleball & volleyball combination court with an interchangeable net and new fencing, which will be the first court of its kind in Austin and the first public pickleball court in D8
  • Basketball court resurfacing and restriping
  • A mature live oak tree planted between the splash pad and playground
  • Limestone block seating near the splash pad and sport courts
“We are always looking for creative funding sources to pay for park improvements, and I thank Council Member Ellis for her generosity in making this happen,” said City of Austin Parks and Recreation Department Director Kimberly McNeeley. “With this funding, we are able to make our budget stretch further and complete even more projects for the community inside the park, including ADA accommodations and parking lot improvements.”
The improvements are expected to take 2-3 months to complete and be ready by summer. The renovations will coincide with the reopening of the Dick Nichols pool, which has been closed for the last few years due to the need for repairs and a lack of lifeguards. Southwest Austin residents have been without a local public pool since Dick Nichols is the only public pool in District 8 besides Barton Springs.
“These projects are a true investment in the community and will be enjoyed by residents for many years,” said Kim Goyette, volunteer leader at Dick Nichols Park and resident of nearby Beckett Meadows. “They will significantly improve the quality and overall appearance of our diverse park amenities and demonstrate a true commitment to the community by the City of Austin and Council Member Ellis. I can’t wait to see the park when everything is complete.”
The funding is a cost-sharing collaboration between Council Member Ellis’ office and the city’s Parks Department (PARD). The total expenditure for the upgraded amenities is $126,265, with $100,075 coming from Ellis’ council office budget and $26,290 from parkland dedication fees. No previous council member has ever made an investment this large back into their district, though several have used office funding for various community projects.
A future event at the park will be planned once the upgrades are complete, which is expected in May or June 2022.

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