From left: Ben Heistein, an area manager at the Dallas Park and Recreation Department; Rudy Karimi, the District 14 Dallas Park and Recreation Board member; John Jenkins, the director of the Dallas Park and Recreation Department; and Patrick Sanders, the executive director of the University Crossing Public Improvement District. They sit at one of the new chess tables installed at Glencoe Park. Photo by Renee Umsted.

Five chess tables have been installed under the shade of mature trees in the northwest corner of Glencoe Park.

The tables are a product of a partnership between the University Crossing Public Improvement District and the Dallas Park and Recreation Department. Glencoe Park now has more chess tables than any other park in District 14.

The tables are made of a heavy, concrete-like material and have built-in benches and a board that can be used for chess or checkers on top. A bike-parking area was also installed, and soon, a bike-repair station with an air pump and some basic tools will be added next to it.

Construction and installation of Glencoe Park’s newest amenity started in January and was finished this past week. But this project has been in the works for about a year, when the planning and design periods are considered.

One of five game tables at Glencoe Park. Photo by Renee Umsted.

Patrick Sanders, who leads the University Crossing PID, says his organization wanted to improve this section of the park. Steps from the University Crossing Trail, it lended itself to becoming a sitting area because of the shade provided by large trees nearby.

The University Crossing PID — which is responsible for several murals along the University Crossing Trail, among other things — funded the $30,000 project, while the park department formulated the design concept and took on the construction and installation.

Glencoe Park already had ball fields, tennis and basketball courts, a playground and a running/walking trail — plenty of ways to exercise the body. But Sanders says he thought it could use something that would allow park-goers to exercise their minds.

Now it’s a “space for everyone,” he says.

Rudy Karimi, District 14’s Park and Recreation Board member, says he hopes students from local Dallas ISD schools and SMU will use the tables.

In the future, keep an eye out for exercise equipment at Glencoe Park. Plus, there are discussions to add improvements such as lighting, murals, a sculpture and a rest area to the University Crossing Trail.

P.S. Don’t forget to bring your own chess or checkers pieces.

Five game tables were installed at Glencoe Park. Photo by Renee Umsted.