Eighteen months and counting! That’s how long it’s estimated construction of the expansion project at the San Antonio Botanical Garden will take from the Oct. 2, 2015 signing of the Kopplow Construction contract. The project should be completed sometime in the spring of 2017. The first phase included prepping the eight acres for construction, with protective fencing going up around trees that would remain as well as around the perimeter of the entire construction site.
The terrain of the site needed addressing next. Planners knew that it was critical to make the visitor’s approach to the Garden more appealing so that guests have a real sense of arrival at a garden. The whole site has been graded, with the western end of the Funston property sloping down to existing street level, making the Funston/North New Braunfels intersection a more approachable point of entry at the San Antonio Garden Center corner. In the coming months the intersection will be groomed to have fewer distractions and visual clutter. The expansion plans include a sustainable parking “garden,” with approximately 150 spaces added to the footprint. An oak allée will line the boulevard leading from the intersection to the new plaza entry to the Garden.
The dirt removed at the west end of the Funston lot has been hauled to the east end (toward Fort Sam Houston) to create a key feature of the new 2.5 acre Family Adventure Garden: The Prickly Pear Peak, a fun and accessible experience for all youngsters. With the Garden already at a high point in the City, children will have their own special vantage point for viewing. All about nature play, the Family Adventure Garden will engage kids in the outdoors with hands-on experiences and play.