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It looks like McCabe Park is set to receive another round of upgrades.
The City of Mountain Home is moving forward with a roughly $680,000 plan to make a series of upgrades to McCabe Park after receiving a $500,000 Transportation Alternatives Program and Recreational Alternative Programs grant from the Arkansas State Highway Commission.
The grant is paid for through the Federal Transportation Alternatives Program.
“This project has been brewing along with some other stuff,” said Mayor Hillrey Adams. “What this project will do, now that we let everyone have their first planning meeting with ARDOT, is renew that parking lot there. It’ll become an official parking lot. It’ll be ADA-accessible up to the banks of the pond for people to get to fish. It’ll have a restroom there.”
In addition to the new ADA-compliant parking lot and restrooms, the Shirley Baker Greenway will also be receiving upgrades. The trail will officially be expanded to connect to the new Aquatic Center, as well as the Baxter County Library.
All of the trails at McCabe Park will be installed with new solar lighting to match the trail at Arkansas State University – Mountain Home. ASUMH’s trail also received a grant for solar lighting and was recently connected to McCabe Park through a trail that goes underneath the Sheid-Hopper Bypass and College Street.
Mountain Home’s local college announced its trail’s “Art Walk” program last October by unveiling a Patrick Shannon of Forest Edge Gallery in Minnesota, with a promise to install an additional 20 sculptures over the next few years. Each sculpture will also feature a botanical garden.
Residents will be allowed to vote on which sculpture they would like to see installed along ASUMH’s portion of the trail.
The new trail connecting the Shirley Baker Greenway to the Baxter County Library will branch out from the connection of the trail underneath the bypass by the Sheid-Hopper Bypass and College Street. Once completed, residents can walk from the Baxter County Library to ASUMH’s campus without having to cross College Street’s traffic.
In addition to announcing the new funding for upgrades, Mayor Adams said that work on the Community & Aquatic Center was well underway.
The City of Mountain Home held the groundbreaking for the Mountain Home Community and Aquatic Center before Christmas break last year. The event was attended by city officials and members of the public, as well as members of the work crew that were tasked with completing the $36.2 million project.
Adams said that last week’s snowstorm had slowed down progress on the center, but crews were quick to return to work as the weather began to clear.
Once completed, the complex will feature a 30,000-square-foot convention center, boasting multipurpose rooms and a fitness area with cardio and resistance equipment. The center should feature enough room for large conventions throughout the year.
In addition, the facility will include a 35,000-square-foot gymnasium featuring an indoor running/walk track that will also be available for residents looking to beat summer’s heat and winter’s frigidness. Various courts for basketball, pickleball and volleyball will also be available.
Next, construction will focus on a 35,000-square-foot indoor aquatic center with pools for both competition and physical therapy. The indoor aquatic center will be matched by a 35,000 aquatic area outside that will feature up to three pools and other water-themed features. The pools are expected to be used by Mountain Home Public Schools’ swim teams, which currently use private pools by local residents to practice for competition.
Construction for the Mountain Home Community Center & Aquatic Center is expected to run through 2024 and be completed by Summer 2025. Adams is expected to announce when work will begin on the new upgrades to McCabe Park will begin in the coming weeks.