On just about any day, you can find San Antonio west side native David Enrique Salas at Elmendorf Lake.
"Everybody enjoys this park, just like I do” said Salas.
Elmendorf Lake has long been cherished by its surrounding west side neighborhood and Our Lady of the Lake University, which sits on its banks. Over time, however, the San Antonio gem has become the victim of neglect.
"It's getting kind of ugly -- the river-- the way it looks,” said Beverly Rodriguez, who has long enjoyed the lake.
Now, five years after Precinct Two Commissioner Paul Elizondo and Mayor Julian Castro proposed the idea, the wheels are officially in motion to renovate and update the city landmark.
“I think it’s great,” said an excited Carlos Olvera, after hearing the news. Olvera lives across the street from Elmendorf Lake.
According to Bexar County officials, construction is set to begin this summer.
"The idea is that we'll create kind of a destination location,” said Bexar County Director of Public Works, Renee Green.
The county and city have each committed $7 million to the project, which will provide new amenities like pedestrian bridges and additional trails.
"We're going to have some water fountains that are going to aerate the lake; it's going to improve water quality,” said Green.
The project also promises to improve flood control.
"One of the things we had originally looked at in this area was dredging the lake,” said Green.
That short-term solution was eventually scratched. Now, the county is opting for a long-term answer that includes bio-retention ponds, and achieving flood control through better water quality. Another interesting addition will be use of pervious pavement, which will allow storm water to drain through remodeled parking lots.
A private memorial for Hispanic Veterans is also still in the works. Residents and the nonprofit organization La Ofrenda have been raising funds to erect a 140-foot-tall monument that would stand on an island in the lake.
While the county and city combined to fund the park, the renovation process will be overseen by the San Antonio River Authority. Construction is projected to be completed by early 2016.