On Tuesday, January 19, the Beaumont City Council approved a draft conceptual plan for Stewart Park. Renovation of the 11-acre park will be the most significant undertaking since the acquisition and development of the park in 1939.
Currently, the park stretches across three City blocks between Orange Avenue and Magnolia Avenue and features a full basketball court, a pool facility, a restroom/concession stand, a pavilion with a concrete pad for live entertainment, a skate park, playground, a baseball diamond, and a small parking lot.
In the Fall of 2020, the City initiated a swimming pool assessment and feasibility study of the 55-year-old Plunge. The report concluded that the facility was in need of significant repairs that could not be funded with restricted CIP funding. In lieu of repairing the outdated facility, the City Council chose to demolish the pool and replace it with a 17,000 square foot splash pad which can be utilized year-round.
Additional elements proposed in the plan include a concrete walking trail throughout the length of the park, picnic pavilions throughout the park, multi-generational and inclusive playground equipment with shade structures, a gaga ball court, increased parking facilities, connection of the park across Ninth and Tenth Streets, and a new bandshell with modern sound and lighting equipment. The existing skate park and basketball courts will remain in their current location and will be updated with modern equipment.
The approved conceptual plan will make Stewart Park a destination for families to enjoy and increase Beaumont’s social capital. It will transition into a true community icon, increase overall usage of the park, and serve as a major component for the downtown revitalization.