Hobbs celebrates City Park reopening
About 15 minutes before the official re-opening of the Hobbs City Park, Bentley Hicks was already smiling.
The 4-year old from Hobbs had his shirt and shoes off as he danced around the new water features of Hobbs’ latest splash pad.
A half an hour later, a group of kids from Hobbs Head Start found their smiles as they ran through the pad’s sprinkler systems.
The City of Hobbs, JF Maddox Foundation and Hobbs Municipal Schools held a re-dedication and ribbon cutting ceremony Tuesday afternoon officially opening the park. Planning for a new City Park was announced in February of 2016 at an initial cost of $3.74 million. During the ceremony, it was announced the final price tag was around $4.4 million and took 12 months to build.
What Hobbs has now is a new city park with a variety of features including the splash pad. There are new covered basketball courts, picnic areas, playground equipment, bathrooms and a walking trail. The public park will serve as an playground area for Murray Elementary, just like those seen at Taylor, Jefferson, Mills and Booker T. Washington Elementaries.
At least one Murray Elementary student is happy the park is open. Fifth grader Madalyn Valdez-Betsch spoke at the ceremony on behalf of school’s students and staff about the school’s excitement and thanks for the new park.
“(The school and staff) express our heartfelt gratitude to the Maddox Foundation, the City of Hobbs, and the Hobbs Municipal School District, for creating such a beautiful park for a community to enjoy,” Valdez-Betsch said. “Not to mention the benefit for students at Murray Elementary when we earn rewards for going to such a stunning park. Thank you for investing in children and families, we appreciate you.”
Hobbs Mayor Sam Cobb stated the land on which the initial city park was developed was donated to the city by the James and Polly Murray family in 1947. Acting city manager Manny Gomez said the park opened 64 years ago, on or around 1954. James and Polly Murray’s grandson, Michael, was on hand to witness the re-opening on behalf of the Murray family.
Cobb gave thanks to those involved in the project, including city, school and foundation representatives.
“Additional input from the public and members of the city Community Affairs Board were selected in the early in the early stages of the planning process,” Cobb said. “I thank all of you for your input and dedication to this project.”
With members of the City of Hobbs, Hobbs Municipal Schools and the Maddox Foundation surrounding her, Valdez-Betsch took on the opportunity of cutting the ribbon, officially opening the park.
As the Hobbs Head Start children ran through the water features at the splash pad, those who attended the dedication ceremony watched from afar. Many of them as well shared a smile as well.
“This magnificent facility is a testament to the vision of community leaders who connectively recognize that the success of our city, park and its facilities is the collective awareness of just how important playing is in the lives of children and families,” said acting city manager Manny Gomez.