Written by Phil Cerroni
By Amanda Casanova
The Friends of Coppell Nature Park are one step closer to building a long-awaited Biodiversity Center after the City Council approved agreements with the nature organization and the school district this week.
The City Council voted unanimously for the agreements on Tuesday at their regular council meeting. In the first agreement with the Friends of the Coppell Nature Park, the City Council voted to approve starting construction on the building.
Construction of the facility, which would house meeting rooms and education opportunities, is estimated to start within 45 to 60 days, Brad Reid, director of parks and recreation for the city, said. Plans for the facility were also finished on Tuesday.
According to the mission of the Friends of the Coppell Nature Park, the center would be a “unique, adaptable, sustainable facility that will inspire passion for our local and global environment, promote community involvement, and create life-long learning opportunities by incorporating engaging outdoor activities and innovative technologies that will provide fun, hands-on experiences where people of all ages can explore, learn, share and celebrate nature.”
Under a second agreement with the Coppell Independent School District approved by the Council, the district will donate $300,000 to the project. The City retains ownership of the property, and the school district will have a 50 percent ownership stake of the facility.
“It will primarily be used for educational purposes and shared with the school district,” Reid said. “There are a number of City uses. We plan to hold our education classes there and a number of public meetings in the building. I think the building will get quite a bit of use.”
The center will be built within the Coppell Nature Park, located off Freeport Parkway.