Corsicana Daily Sun, Corsicana, Texas

February 7, 2013

CHAMBER BANQUET: Plans for new family water park at I-45/Highway 287 unveiled

By Janet Jacobs
Corsicana Daily Sun

Corsicana — A water park, complete with big slides, a wave pool, an inner tube river ride and paddle boats, is being planned for Corsicana, it was announced Thursday at the 95th Annual Chamber of Commerce banquet.

The $9 million 23-acre project was designed by Michael A. Jenkins, who has designed more than 1,000 similar theme parks around the world. The projected opening is summer 2014. It will be built at the intersection of South U.S. Highway 287 and Interstate 45, east of the Denny’s and Subway restaurants.

More information about the water park and its developer will appear in the Weekend Edition of the Daily Sun.

In addition to the surprise announcement, the banquet was also the venue for recognitions, with awards going to a series of community leaders.

Pactiv, which recently announced a $50 million expansion at its Corsicana facility, was presented with the Arthur J. Keeney award, named for former Corsicana Daily Sun publisher Arthur Keeney, who was active in dozens of organizations, including the Chamber of Commerce, and who demonstrated a community-oriented philosophy.

The company is building a 150,000-square-foot addition to the plant on Highway 31 that will also bring 200 new jobs to the city’s workforce over a three-year period. The Texas Enterprise Fund gave $930,000 to the company to help with the expansion, and the Texas Capital fund put up a $1.25 million grant.

Byron Cook, a former Keeney Award winner, presented the award to the company’s representatives, and pointed out that the company’s expansion not only means the addition of new jobs, but the retention of 135 current jobs, as well.

“This was an absolute labor of love on behalf of the local officials,” Cook said, pointing out that city and county elected leaders scurried to Austin whenever the project encountered stumbling blocks.

Joe Brooks was named Volunteer of the Year for his long-time support of the chamber and a wide variety of community organizations, including the Palace Theatre, the Warehouse Living Arts Center and others.

“I’m just one volunteer, they’re all over this town,” Brooks said in accepting his award. “They bring us quality of life.”

Receiving the Tom White Community Service Award was Dr. Dave Campbell. Campbell has served on the city council, college board, hospital board and many others, in addition to having the local air field named after him.

He was greeted with a standing ovation.

“This is a wonderful honor because I know the three people who got it before me,” Campbell said. “I’ll treasure it.”

He went on to compare Corsicana to an old person, charming but crotchety. It’s the crotchety parts that need more work, he said.

Aaron Johnson was presented with the Past Chairman’s Award. He spoke of the accomplishments this past year, including ribbon cuttings and business after hours events, and thanked his employer, Guardian Industries, and his family for their support.

The guest speaker was Bryan Flanagan, who was with the Zig Ziglar Corporation for 20 years. He told jokes, but also offered some advice on how to continue to be a good spouse, smart business person and strong member of any community.

“Don’t be afraid to look for the good in each other, and give feedback,” Flanagan advised.

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Read more about the proposed water park and family amusement center in the Weekend Edition of the Daily Sun

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Janet Jacobs may be reached via email at jjacobs@corsicanadailysun.com. Want to “soundoff” to this article? Email: Soundoff@corsicanadailysun.com