City of Lufkin says purchase of Morris Frank Park fields part of master plan

City of Lufkin says purchase of Morris Frank Park fields part of master plan
Published: Sep. 21, 2022 at 12:07 PM CDT|Updated: Sep. 21, 2022 at 10:08 PM CDT
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LUFKIN, Texas (KTRE) - Lufkin City Council continues to move forward on their park master plan renovations. They will be executing a contract to purchase property from Lufkin ISD.

The district’s baseball and softball home fields sit on Morris Frank Park, empty and unused since the spring of 2021.

Over the last year, the city was in an agreement with the district for the upkeep of the field and now they plan on purchasing those fields as part of their park master plan.

Lufkin ISD Superintendent Lynn Torres said it will benefit both the district and city.

“It was problematic when we owned a large piece of those properties. They would need our permission to do so. So it just needs to go back to its home.”

Jessica Pebsworth with the city told us they currently own the complexes located to the left of the school districts fields. The city is also working with a committee where each member is associated with the field through usage, such as “soccer or baseball or softball, that way they can help give feedback as to what is the best usage and money put towards making that community center a place that can benefit everyone.”

Listed as a capital improvement project, improvements to the fields and infrastructures include things like lighting and security measures.

The city’s tentative 2024 budget has $6.15 million to go towards the park’s renovation. The purchase amount of the Lufkin ISD fields is listed at $300,000.

Pebsworth said the fields will remain as they are a large part of the complex and the plan is just one more way to enhance the community.

“The possibility of having one more tournament venue which is always good because it brings people into town to dine and shop and you know, with their kids. Maybe they’ll make Lufkin a future travel destination.”

The city is in contract with development company Goodwin-Lasiter-Strong for the project planning.