ROUND ROCK, TEXAS - After more than three months of work, the Play For All Abilities Park in Round Rock reopened Friday, and many feel it's now bigger and better than ever.
"It is extremely, extremely nice," said parent Debbie Juhlke. "It is so special because there's one for all children to play on."
Dozens of families with anxious children waited for city officials to give the signal at the ceremony Friday morning.
"I really can't wait for them to open the thing now,” said 9-year-old Geneva Multanen as she waited.
Without the park, Multanen said she’s had to resort to other forms of entertainment.
"It's been very, very, very boring reading, but now I'm really excited for it to come," Multanen said.
With the $2,250,00 in renovations, the park doubled in size. With that came new spaces such as a speedway for bicycles, an accessible tree house and a zipline. They also added more swings, expanded the village and added a new train-themed playground.
Round Rock city officials said Hurricane Harvey delayed a few of the playground equipment deliveries. So they said there are still a few finishing touches, but they wanted to open the park back up as soon as possible.
"Before the expansion I thought it was awesome, just because it meets all of my kids' needs in one area, and just coming here today, it's even better. It's more than I could imagine,” said Lisa Beltran.
"It's definitely bigger and better, as you know, Round Rock is growing by leaps and bounds,” said Juhlke.
And that's why Rick Atkins, the director of Parks and Recreation for Round Rock, said the expansion was necessary.
"It really got to the point where we needed to make this thing bigger,” Atkins said.
He said before the expansion, they had an average of 1,000 kids visiting each day.
"We just ended up with so many people coming,” said Atkins. "You know it's so much different than a regular park."
Atkins hopes the park lets everyone just feel like a kid.
"It's about total inclusion, it's about being a community that accepts and that wants to make sure we play with all, because play for us is just the greatest thing in the world, and we learn so much from play," Atkins said. "It's got so many different amenities to make sure that it accommodates everyone's needs.”
"I be happy,” said Dennis Seymore.
Dennis and his dad, Kenneth Seymore, helped create the park about five years ago.
"This is a dream come true for a lot of people,” Kenneth said. "It makes me feel really really proud, I'm really excited, not only for him, but for all the kids.”
He feels the expansion is better than he ever imagined.
"As you can tell, they made it even better, so what we thought was a great thing, they made it even better,” said Seymore.
Now Dennis can't even choose his favorite part.
"Hmmm,” Dennis said, with his finger on his chin.
And that's the goal for this park. No matter their disability, everyone should feel that when they come here, their ability to have fun is limitless.
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