April 11, 2014
Here is the latest edition of Week In Review - a series of weekly messages from the Mayor and City Council to help Richardson residents and businesses keep up to date on events at City Hall.
Methodist Richardson Expansion Celebrates Opening
Methodist Richardson Medical Center celebrated the grand opening of its expansion at its Bush/Renner campus Wednesday with a ribbon cutting ceremony. Richardson Mayor Laura Maczka joined hospital officials as they cut the ceremonial ribbon alongside a da Vinci® surgical robot. After the ribbon cutting, guests enjoyed tours of the facility and refreshments.
The 266,250-square-foot facility will begin serving patients on Monday. It includes a women’s pavilion, advanced neurosciences program, outpatient surgical services, advanced cardiac care and many other services. The hospital has 125 beds on four floors and will employ about 900 professionals.
Methodist Richardson is inviting the public to check out the new facility at a Grand Opening Party and Healthy Kids Day (in association with Richardson Family YMCA) from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday at the southeast corner of Renner Road and PGBT. The event will include a hospital tour and scavenger hunt; EMS helicopter, fire truck, and ambulance tours; a da Vinci® robot demo; community art project; kite-flying instruction; games and activities; a picnic cookout; and more. For more information, visit methodisthealthsystem.org/richardsonexpansion.
City Receives Record Low Interest Rate on Debt for Dog Park, Other Projects
The City Council approved the issuance of $7.9 million in new debt Monday that will pay for a dog park, Next Generation 911 system and major equipment for various City departments. The City was able to finance the debt at a record low interest rate of 1.02 percent because of the short-term life of the certificates and the City’s top credit rating of AAA from Moody’s and Standard & Poor’s, which was reaffirmed last month.
Watch the work session discussion at bit.ly/Q0jL9D.
Council Reviews Dog Park Plans
The City Council on Monday reviewed progress on Richardson’s first dog park, which will be constructed on six acres under and along the President George Bush Turnpike just west of US 75. The proposed design features a central courtyard area where all dogs will enter separate fenced-in areas for large, small and sedentary dogs. Possible features include shade structures, benches, artwork and water fountains.
The City is working to finalize an inter-local agreement with TxDOT, which owns the land designated for the dog park. Next steps include naming the park and purchasing a pre-fabricated restroom building for the site. The $1.5 million project is expected to go out for bid in May or June with construction beginning this summer. The new park is expected to be complete by the end of the year.
The 2010 Richardson Parks, Recreation and Open Space Master Plan identified a dog park as one of the City’s top recreation needs. Watch the work session presentation at bit.ly/1itTUzi.
City, RISD Partnering to Develop Park in Northrich Neighborhood
The City is working with Richardson ISD to develop a neighborhood park on one acre on the west side of the Northrich Elementary Campus. The Richardson Parks, Recreation and Open Space Master Plan identified the Northrich neighborhood as underserved for neighborhood park amenities, and voters approved $750,000 for a park in the area through the 2010 Bond Program. The City Council received an update on the park’s progress at Monday’s work session.
The City is working with consultants from Studio Outside to design the park, which is expected to include a pavilion, outdoor classroom, trails and bear-themed playground. Construction is expected to begin this summer and be complete by fall 2014.
Watch the work session presentation at bit.ly/1mYc1TK.
Council Receives Update on Gymnastics Center
The Richardson Gymnastics Center has experienced tremendous growth since moving to its new building in January 2013. Since that time, class enrollment is up 58 percent, 20 classes have been added, and the facility is operating at full capacity during peak hours. The City Council heard an update on the growth of the gymnastics program Monday at its work session.
The Gymnastics Center has become a popular birthday party destination, as the number of parties jumped from two in 2012 at the old center to 151 in the first year at the new one. The facility is on pace to host 300 parties in 2014.
In February, the Gymnastics Center hosted the Texas Amateur Athletic Federation gymnastics qualifier. The “Heart & Soul Invitational” featured 425 competitors from 26 teams from across the state. The City would not have been able to host such an event in the old facility, which had many space restrictions.
Watch the presentation at bit.ly/1hZqN98.
Council Discusses Historical Marker for McKamy Spring Park
McKamy Spring Park provides two acres of open space and trails next to Richardson’s Brick Row mixed-use development, but hundreds of years ago it was home to the Yoiuane tribe of the Caddo group of Indians and some of the earliest settlers in Texas. The City is seeking to commemorate the site’s first inhabitants by applying for a Texas Historical Subject Marker for the park. If approved, it would be the ninth historical marker in Richardson.
McKamy Spring, which runs through the park, served as a watering place for the Yoiuane Indians, who hunted buffalo and deer on the prairie from as early as 1690 to 1840. A site may be considered for a Texas Historical Subject Marker if it had influence, effect or impact on the course of history or cultural development more than 50 years ago.
The City Council expressed approval at its Monday work session for plans to prepare the application for the historical marker. The Parks and Recreation Department will include $1,900 in its 2014-2015 budget to cover the application fee and other costs to install the marker if it is approved. The City expects to submit the application by the fall and install the historical marker by the fall of 2015, pending approval.
Watch the work session presentation at bit.ly/1g7QArS.
City to Host Neighborhood Leadership Workshop
The Community Services Department will hold a Neighborhood Leadership Workshop at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, April 15, at the Civic Center. The event is designed to help attendees develop a better appreciation of neighborhood issues and vitality strategies and gain an understanding of city operations and neighborhood association management techniques.
The program will begin with dinner and networking and include breakout sessions on the Richardson Arts Initiatives and an assessment of the Richardson Today newsletter. The event will also include a Q&A with a panel of presenters and an exhibitors row.
For more information or to register, call 972-744-4180 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Wildflower! Tickets On Sale Beginning Monday
The 2014 Wildflower! Arts & Music Festival’s three-day pass goes on sale for $30 on Monday at any Metroplex Tom Thumb store or online through wildflowerfestival.com. The three-day pass will be available until 5:30 p.m. Friday, May 16.
Single-day adult tickets will be available at the gate for $20 as well as through the festival’s website beginning Monday. Kids age 5-12 will be admitted for $3, and admission for kids 4 and under is free.
Richardson residents can purchase up to six individual adult tickets per each day of the festival for only $10 each. Kids 12 and younger get in free on May 18 with a paid adult courtesy of Bank of America and adult tickets are $10 on Sunday courtesy of Cisco.
For more information, visit wildflowerfestival.com or facebook.com/wildflowerfestival.
Budding Talent Audition Registration Deadline at Midnight
Tonight at midnight is the deadline to register for the Wildflower! Arts & Music Festival’s Budding Talent Competition. Auditions will take place from 1 to 5 p.m. Sunday at Heights Recreation Center, 711 W. Arapaho Rd. Winning singers in five categories from preschool (age 3) to 12th grade will perform at the Wildflower! Festival Sunday, May 18.
Contestants will need to sing one song from memory and bring an accompaniment CD to the audition. They may also accompany themselves on acoustic guitar or piano or bring an accompanist. Small vocal ensembles of two to four singers are also eligible, but bands are not. Register for auditions by e-mail at email@example.com.
Free AARP Tax Help Concludes Monday
Tax-Aide, sponsored by AARP and the IRS, will provide free tax return preparation and e-filing assistance for low- to moderate-income taxpayers with an emphasis on seniors from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday at the Richardson Public Library.
People should bring Social Security cards and all pertinent tax forms, including Social Security statements. The service will be offered on a first come, first served basis.
The Vocal Majority at Eisemann Center
The Vocal Majority will perform “VM Pure A Capella” at 8 p.m. Friday, and 2 and 8 p.m. Saturday at the Eisemann Center. The show will feature a variety of love songs performed without instrumental accompaniment.
Tickets cost $10 to $43 and are available at eisemanncenter.com or by calling 972-744-4650. For more information, visit vocalmajority.com.
Avant Chamber Ballet's "Alice in Wonderland" at Eisemann Center
Avant Chamber Ballet will perform “Alice in Wonderland” at 3 and 8 p.m. Saturday, and 3 p.m. Sunday at the Eisemann Center.
Tickets cost $30 and are available at eisemanncenter.com or by calling 972-744-4650. For more information, visit avantchamberballet.org.
RCAS Meeting and Demonstration Next Week
Marie Renfro will demonstrate painting techniques at the Richardson Civic Art Society meeting on Tuesday. Renfro creates colorful works in a variety of mediums, including acrylic, oil and watercolor. View her work at gallery8.com.
RCAS meets in the Richardson Public Library basement on the third Tuesday of the month at 6:30 p.m. The event is free and open to the public. RCAS is supported by the City of Richardson through a grant from the Arts Commission.
Applications Accepted for Carter Future Leaders Summer Internship Program
The Carter Future Leaders Summer Internship Program is accepting applications for the upcoming session, which will run from June 9 to Aug. 8. The program, administered by the office of State Rep. Stefani Carter, matches interns with businesses in House District 102 and includes enrichment workshops to build leadership skills.
The internships are available to incoming high school seniors and college freshman and sophomores who live or attend school in House District 102. Applications are due by 5 p.m. April 28. For more information or to download an application, visit carterfortexas.com/future-leaders.
Consignment Sale at Civic Center on Saturday
The North Dallas Mothers of Twins Club will hold its semi-annual consignment sale from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Saturday at the Richardson Civic Center. More than 20,000 gently used clothes, toys, newborn necessities and other items will be for sale. Admission is $1. For more information, visit ndmotc.com.
Seniors' Net to Hold Free Seminar on Supplemental Insurance
Seniors’ Net will hold a free seminar on “Your Supplemental Insurance” at 10 a.m. Tuesday at NETWORK of Community Ministries, 741 S. Sherman St. RSVP by calling 972-234-8880, ext. 118.
NETWORK holds a free seminar each month featuring a topic of interest to seniors. The next event is May 6 and will focus on “Celebrating Older Americans Month – Movie Day.”
RISD to Host Second Annual Tour
Mark your calendars for the second annual “See What’s New in Richardson ISD” senior tour. The event will be from 8:30 a.m. to noon Wednesday, May 21, and include breakfast at the RISD Administration Building, a walking tour of the Math/Science/Technology Magnet Elementary School and Lake Highlands High School, entertainment by students and more.
The tour is open to Richardson ISD residents who are 55 and older. Space is limited. RSVP to Elaine Simmmons at 469-593-0301.
Pretty Pet Easter Parade to March through Huffhines Park
The Pretty Pet Easter Parade will take place from 1 to 4 p.m. Saturday at Huffhines Park. The parade will begin at 3 p.m. The event will also include refreshments, pet photography and nail trimming for $5. The parade is organized by Richardson AnimaLuv, which benefits the Richardson Animal Shelter. For more information, visit richardsonanimaluv.org.
Richardson Animal Shelter Pet of the Week
My name is Thunder! I was brought to the Shelter because my owner no longer wanted me. I have been spayed and fully vaccinated. I am a DLH calico about 4 years old. I love cuddles and scratches behind the ears. Please help me find a forever home!
For information about other animals available for adoption, visit the Animal Shelter’s Facebook page at facebook.com/RichardsonAnimalShelter.
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