LUBBOCK, Texas – Lubbock City Council voted 5-2 Tuesday to approve the final location and designs for the Downtown Civic Park.

The move finalizes the $5.89 million “Wind and Water” design on 1301 Broadway, with additional features bringing the total up to $10.8 million depending on fundraising efforts. The plan will demolish the old Lubbock Power & Light building on the corner of Broadway and Avenue M, replacing it with a block-wide green space that includes an amphitheater, water feature, food court, and walkway.

City leaders described it as the new “living room” and “civic heart” of Lubbock, a new family gathering place that will be an economic boom to a downtown area lacking outdoor common spaces.

“I think it’s important, especially from a local government perspective, that we identify catalytic projects that support investment downtown,” Mayor pro-tempore Steve Massengale said. “I believe this park is one of those.”

Councilwomen Sheila Patterson-Harris and Latrelle Joy voted against the plan.

Patterson-Harris voiced concerns over the location, preferring to place the park in an area that does not require demolishing an existing building.

“I have trouble wrapping my brain around demolishing a building to put a park in its space… a park that has grass,” Councilwoman Patterson-Harris said.

Councilwoman Joy worried the project may cost more than advertised after factoring in additional costs such as demolition and stressed that park maintenance costs and private fundraising should be the responsibility of the Central Business District Tax Increment Financing (TIF) Board, rather than the city itself.

“We do have a fiscal responsibility to the citizens of Lubbock,” Councilwoman Joy said. “I am concerned in this proposal that there is nothing written saying who is going to maintain this park, and it is going to be a big job.”

The city plans to fundraise $4.89 million of the initial $5.89 million cost, aiming to break ground on the new park early next year.