The board originally approved the plans for a 9,000-square-foot, $4 million boathouse at White Rock Lake back in 2012, but after three grueling years the rowing group wasn’t able to scrounge up the required funds.
The structure would have included boat storage, locker rooms and showers for the roughly 150 students involved in the nonprofit program, plus an observation deck and fountains that the public can access.
Per the contract, the board has the right to terminate the plans if construction hadn’t started at White Rock Lake by November 2015. With only $230,000 raised so far, the board made the call this morning in a 6-9 vote.
Although previous councilman Sheffie Kadane supported Dallas United Crew’s dream for a boathouse at White Rock Lake, current District 9 councilman Mark Clayton has reservations.
“[Kadane] really wanted it and thought it would be a great asset to White Rock Lake,” Clayton says. “I’m not against the [Dallas United Crew], but I have a responsibility to protect the best interest of the park.”
The organization represents about a 150 junior high and high school students, and it costs anywhere from $1,600-$5,000 a year for kids to row, he says. Rather, he thinks if a boathouse is going to exist on White Rock Lake, it should be accessible to all East Dallas students.
“I think they have good intentions and they’re doing good things,” he says. “But they’re nowhere close to raising the funds they need to building the facility, and even if they can it’s not really a public-private facility. It’s a private facility on public land. That’s old Dallas, and it’s a new day.”
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