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City looks to rejuvenate Labonte, Cole parks

The pier was just the beginning of the vision in place for Cole Park.

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — The city of Corpus Christi now has a vision of what it would like both Cole and Labonte parks to eventually be.

Cole and Labonte are two of the city's 185 parks; both need polishing, and that's what the city would like to see happen.

Artist renderings of the some of the landscape and structural changes for Labonte park.

But the city hopes further renovations will make the entire park more attractive to residents and tourists alike.

Corpus Christi Parks and Recreation Department director Robert Dodd says both Labonte and Cole parks represent two valuable assets for the entire city, calling Labonte Park the "gateway to the city."

"Coming in on (Interstate) 37, that's the first thing you see," he said. "That's one of our popular parks. During Easter it's (campsites are) sold out, and we have a lot of people that enjoy that area so we're trying to make it better for our citizens as well as people coming in."

Cole Park, he said, is our "gem."

"It's the one that probably is the most recognized in Corpus (Christi)," he said. "And we have the new pier that's been up for about a year now. And we're just trying to upgrade that and make that area even more popular than it already is."

The Cole Park Pier reopened last December after receiving more than $7 million in upgrades.

The city also spent about $70,000 to resurface the skate park near Cole Park.

The upgrades for Cole Park include amphitheater and landscaping improvements.

There's no price tag attached to these improvements, but officials said that once council approves the plans, it will determine how to fund them.

Ultimately, however, voters will decide whether to fund the improvements. 

If they come reality, those improvements could start in the next couple of years.

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