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NEISD employees get new green space to enjoy

Cecilia Felts is looking forward to finally having some outside green space where she can take a quick break during her work day. In the six years she’s worked at the North East ISD central office building, that space hasn’t existed.

But on Thursday, July 11, the District held a ribbon cutting ceremony to unveil its new RAMEC Pocket Park. The outdoor space, located adjacent to its central office building on Tesoro Drive, was rehabbed and outfitted for employees with limestone seating, picnic benches, a porous pave walking path, natural tree shading, workout station and perimeter security fencing. The park, which is also ADA accessible, is made possible by a wellness grant provided by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Texas (BCBSTX).

“It’s beautiful and shaded which will make a great place to have a relaxing lunch or a quick brain break,” said Felts, Administrative Assistant in the Performance and Planning department. “The walking path is also a great surprise addition, giving us a place to keep active!”

Close to 100 central office employees filed out to see the new park, and many were excited about the opportunities to use it in the future.

“The park makes it so look so inviting to go outside,” said Glenda Cuellar, Risk Management employee talking about the ways to possibly use the park. “Having lunch outside and getting a breath of fresh air, using the park for a yoga class after work, or maybe doing a “take a lunch bag to work” day and having it outside with your co-workers.”

Employee wellness is vital to productivity and job satisfaction, and NEISD leadership was proud to unveil the project that will benefit its employees for years to come.

The idea for the park was sparked almost 10 years ago, and since that time, much work has been done to acquire the small piece of land from the city, clean it up and then build a park. It was no easy task as the District offices are surrounded on all sides by businesses, office buildings and apartment homes. The project was made possible by assistance from the City of San Antonio, the general contractor Waterman Construction and BCBSTX who funded the project.

In addition to NEISD employees, special guests in attendance included Board President Shannon Grona, Board Secretary Sandy Hughey, Interim Superintendent Dr. Sean Maika, Associate Superintendent of Instruction and Campus Administration Dr. Donna Newman; Associate Superintendent of Operations Ron Clary, Associate Superintendent of Business Services Dan Villarreal and Interim Assistant Superintendent of Campus Administration Rudy Jimenez.

Special thanks goes out to Tammy Lewis, Sandra Bolton, Gloria Cain and Jason Motter from BCBSTX; Steve Hodges, Laura Banis and Martha Almeria from the City of San Antonio; Rick Lopez from Schulman, Lopez, Hoffer & Adelstein; Andrew Waterman and Oscar Saavedra from Waterman Construction; Dr. Barry Lanford and George Martinez from NEISD Facility Maintenance; Gary Sullivan, Jorge Cabello, Josue Burguete and Delphino Villarreal from NEISD Construction Management; and Steve Tovar and Mario Ward from NEISD Risk Management.

Pocket Park layout  pocket park timeline

crowd at ribbon cutting  employees at ribbon cutting

Leadership cutting ribbon on park  Ribbon is cut at park opening