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City of Pharr breaks ground on park collaboration with PSJA ISD

The city of Pharr and the Pharr San Juan Alamo Independent School District are coming together to give the people of Pharr more space to be active and healthy.

The city of Pharr and the Pharr San Juan Alamo Independent School District are coming together to give the people of Pharr more space to be active and healthy.

"It's cheaper to do things together than separately," Pharr Mayor Ambrosio Hernández said at a groundbreaking ceremony Thursday near Allen & William Arnold Elementary School.

City and school officials both feel kids are spending too much time indoors, and projects such as this one are part of efforts to provide families with more options for outdoor activities.

"Well, we know there's a national problem with obesity both in children and adults," Hernández said.

"Unfortunately, we kind of lead the nation in those areas," said PSJA ISD Superintendent Daniel King.

PSJA ISD has agreed to allow the city of Pharr to develop parks on school district property. The city of Pharr will pay the bill.

The park next to the Allen & William Arnold Elementary School will include lighted walking trails, basketball courts and a splash pad, costing the city $2.5 million.

"Although it's being done in a school, obviously adults can come and exercise and walk and enjoy the amenities," said Hernández.

An already existing park behind the Dr. William Long Elementary School near the corner of East Eldora Rd. and North Cognac Rd in Pharr will include lighted trails, and restrooms, costing the city $1.5 million.

The Dr. Long School/City Park opened in 2015 and has a playground for children with disabilities and picnic areas.

Although the park is opened to public, city officials say that the park is only open on weekdays from 3 p.m. to 8 a.m. during the school year and is open around-the-clock on weekends.

The city says the parks will be ready by summer 2018.

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