Ribbon cutting ceremony
Six-year-old Connor Beck helps Lt. Col. Kemielle Smith, commander of the 57th Expeditionary Signal Battalion, 11th Corps Signal Brigade, along with Sgt. Maj. Nathaniel Hannah, Headquarters Company, 11th CSB, and the U.S. Army Garrison - Fort Hood command team, cut the ribbon on a new splash pad playground in the Liberty Village housing area at Fort Hood, Texas, Oct. 14. (Photo Credit: Brandy Cruz, Fort Hood Public Affairs) VIEW ORIGINAL

FORT HOOD, Texas - Six-year-old Connor Beck smiled widely as he ran through the water at the new Liberty Village Splash Pad, following the official ribbon cutting ceremony for the new facility here, Oct. 14.

Beck, the son of Spc. Joshua Beck, 2nd Battalion, 12th Cavalry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cav. Division, was one of about a dozen children in attendance for the ceremony and had the opportunity to cut the ribbon, alongside Fort Hood leaders.

“As the garrison commander, I often get to do things like this, but today is about as special as any you could ever have,” Col. Chad R. Foster, commander of U.S. Army Garrison – Fort Hood, said during the ceremony. “Anytime you get to see a visible manifestation of the investment that we’re making in our Soldiers and families, it is indeed a great day.”

The half-a-million dollar facility includes a large splash pad with a Single Pass System, using treated and purified water, which is then recycled for irrigation of the grass, gardens and trees in the area.

Brian Dosa, director of the Directorate of Public Works, said the project was about six months in the making for DPW, after Liberty Village leaser Richard Bischoff came up with the design.

Splash pad fun
Aryah Lawal, the daughter of Sgt. Rafiu Lawal from the 3rd Cavalry Regiment, plays in the new splash pad in the Liberty Village housing area at Fort Hood, Texas, Oct. 14. (Photo Credit: Brandy Cruz, Fort Hood Public Affairs) VIEW ORIGINAL

The area also includes a covered playground with four slides, a toddler sandpit playground, an ADA-compliant climate-controlled bathroom with a changing table, seating for parents and covered picnic tables. Bischoff said they have additional picnic tables and benches on back-order that will be installed later.

“We’re all about family, community, working together and getting to know your neighbors,” Bischoff said about the community. “Where else are you going to get to know them other than on the playground?”

Liberty Village, which is located South of Highway 190 just off Clear Creek Road, includes 300 single family, two bedroom homes for Fort Hood families. The small privatized housing community is operated by Universal Services Inc. and has two other playground areas designed for older children. Bischoff said this one is focused on the younger children and includes small touches close to his heart.

“Every time I take my grandchildren out to the golf course, they want to run up the hill and roll down, so I had them build a berm here to allow the toddlers to do that,” he shared.

As parents watched their kids cool off from the Texas heat, they were thankful for amenities in the neighborhood.

Getting wet
Six-year-old Connor Beck races through a giant circle of spraying water at the the splash pad in the Liberty Village housing area at Fort Hood, Texas, Oct. 14. (Photo Credit: Brandy Cruz, Fort Hood Public Affairs) VIEW ORIGINAL

“We’re very happy because now I can take my boys out here every weekend,” Crystal Beck, who has lived in the community for two and a half years, said. “They love the water.”