Barrio renovation project moving forward

 Efforts are underway to improve one of Amarillo’s oldest neighborhoods. The Barrio dates back to 1889. 

A group of local citizens within the neighborhood are volunteering to make a number of improvements once more funding is secured. This comes after voters approved a bond election in 2016 providing $600,000 for enhancements.

“The great thing about the Barrio Neighborhood is that it is one of the oldest neighborhoods in our city,” said Mary Bralley, V.P. of Los Barrios de Amarillo.

A neighborhood rich in history is showing its age. In need of more than $2 million dollars, the Barrio Neighborhood Planning Committee is looking at grant funding and fundraisers to help cover the cost of a $3 million dollar project to give S.E. 10th Avenue a new and improved look from Garfield Street to Ross-Osage covering 950 acres in different places.

“We’ve entered our 501c3 application last week so we want to become a non-profit by next year,” said Teresa Kenedy, President of Barrio Neighborhood Planning Committee.

Since August of 2018, Kenedy has served as the President of the Barrio Neighborhood Planning Committee. She tells ABC 7 News the idea to put up Street Toppers gives the Barrio more visibility. An estimated 6,000 people live in the Barrio, which is helping to drive an effort to refurbish it.

“We’ve seen a lot of improvements to our downtown area. Well, we’re right next to downtown so whenever you leave Center City we want you to go into another beautiful neighborhood,” said Bralley. “It’s really important all of our neighborhoods look beautiful and welcoming to those outside the community as well as inside the community.”

“It’s our way of welcoming people, residents, the citizens and the other guests to our city, to our neighborhoods,” said Kenedy. “We want to do that the minute you come under the bridge all the way to Osage.”

There’s no exact date for when the entire project will be completed. Committee members are optimistic they can transform S.E. 10th Ave in the Barrio to a new and improved look within five to six years.

Once the work is completed it will offer ADA accessible sidewalks, decorative lighting,  bus stop benches along with paved alleys making the Barrio user-friendly and safer.

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