The Las Cruces City Council unanimously approved two Resolutions at its July 18, 2022 meeting in Council Chambers at City Hall, 700 N. Main St., to adopt master plans for Tony Gomez and Frenger Parks, and Branigan Park.
One Resolution applies to the master plans for Gomez and Frenger Parks. Tony Gomez Park, 2283 S. Espina St., and Frenger Park, 800 Parkview Drive, are in south Las Cruces, in City Council District 2, and are separated by a portion of Farney Lane.
The second Resolution was the master plan for Branigan Park, 1255 W. Hayner Ave., in City Council District 4. The three parks are neighborhood parks. Gomez and Frenger Parks are multi-use facilities, which also serve as storm water management facilities.
The Parks & Recreation Department initiated a master planning effort to guide future renovations and changes to the three parks. The primary focus of the master planning effort was to develop a vision for the overall, long-range redevelopment of the three parks as surrounding areas change. The process has been community-driven, with a goal of reaching a public consensus on the vision and desired use of each park.
The master plans for the three parks outlines proposed upgrades. The total estimated cost to improve the three parks is $12,679,000. The master plans also include potential funding opportunities that could help pay for improvements. The funding opportunities the City could explore include General Obligation bonds, park impact fees, the City’s Capital Improvement Program, Land and Water Conservation Fund, State Capital Outlay funding, potential grant funding, and potential funding from other supporting organizations.
Some of the proposed improvements to the 3.9-acre Branigan Park include: reorienting a small baseball field and converting a portion of that area into a firefighter training and adult functional fitness area; adding paved parking, sidewalks, and possibly a public restroom; and possibly expanding the park to the southeast. The total estimated cost for proposed improvements to Branigan Park, which would be made in phases, is $3,179,000.
The master plan for Tony Gomez Park, the largest of the three parks, at 12 acres, includes $4,744,000 in proposed, phased improvements. Among some of those improvements that were presented to City Council are an entry plaza to Gomez Park, with paved parking; a small restroom and storage facility; addition of a sports court; and possible construction of an enhanced crosswalk that would link Gomez Park to adjacent Frenger Park.
Frenger Park, the oldest of the three parks, was first opened to the public in the 1960s. Its master plan has a total estimated cost of $4,756,000. Proposed improvements include new public access points at several locations along the boundaries of Frenger Park, particularly on East Park Drive and West Park Drive. The proposed additional entry points would provide wheelchair access to Frenger Park.
Most of the changes at Frenger Park would be at the north end of the park. Frenger Pool would be replaced with a splash pad, and a support building with public restrooms would be built at the northwest corner of the park. An enhanced playground and sports court area also would be at the north end of Frenger Park.
City Council members said the master plans for Tony Gomez, Frenger, and Branigan parks are long-term investments to the community.