EARLY— After months of planning, promoting and various project meetings, the Early High School Leadership Team is finally in the construction phase of its sound garden project at McDonald Park.

Early City Manager Tony Aaron announced construction of the McDonald Park Sound Garden is already underway with plans to have a portion of the garden available to the public before the state of the Sept. 14 Early Texas Showcase.

 “With the sound garden, they are already working on that. Larry (McConn, assistant city administrator, has been helping with that project. The kids have done a great job. It’s going to be a really phenomenal project once they’re finished with it.”

A sound garden is small space in a park with elements visitors of all ages and abilities can manipulate them to produce sounds. The McDonald Park sound garden is part of a project through the Texas Midwest Community Network group, which holds a statewide contest each year for students wanting to make a tangible impact in their communities. The nearest sound garden is more than 100 miles north in Seymour and, given the exponential growth of the Alders Gate Special Needs Easter Egg Hunt, it serves a community that goes unrecognized in many other cities.

“They present on September the 18th and all of the work of the work has to be finished the week before. It’s fixing to get really busy. That same week before is the showcase,” Aaron said.

Since announcing the project last spring, the city as well as local organization such as Harris Broadband, JDTC, Comanche Electrical Cooperative Coop and various other businesses and independent donors contributed more nearly $40,000 for the sound garden with the project’s original price set at $25,000. Due to the massive outpour of support, city officials labeled it as a legacy project and something the community can continue adding to in the future. Along with announcing the construction project, Aaron also provided an update into another capital fund improvement to McDonald Park.

“The basketball court is full under construction. They hope to be pouring that by Friday,” Aaron said. “They will do it in two separate sections. They will do the basketball court and the walkway between the basketball court and the volleyball court, then they will come back and add the stairs, the wheel chair accessible ramp and the sidewalk and curb along the front. We will actually start getting some definition to here is the parking area and this is not the parking area.”