Chris Davidson Opportunity Park to Get New Home, Look

Chris Davidson Opportunity Park to Get New Home, Look

MIDLAND, TX (KWES) - It's a park in Midland designed for children with disabilities. It's served as a special place for countless children in the Basin. After 25 years, the Chris Davidson Opportunity Park is getting a new look and a new home.

At age two, Chris Davidson was diagnosed with juvenile diabetes and at age four muscular dystrophy. During one of many trips to a hospital in Dallas for treatment, his parents came across a park designed for handicapped children. For the first time Chris's parents watched their son play in the park with other kids despite his disabilities.

"My wife Jan said well we need one of these in Midland, because we didn't have one in the 80's," said Steve Davidson, founder of the Chris Davidson Opportunity Park.

So they asked the community to help them build one.

"We raised $650,000 in less than 90 days," said Davidson.

In 1989 the Chris Davidson Opportunity Park became a reality. After 25 years at it's current location, the park is being relocated and rebuilt with a modern day touch. It's new home will be right next to the Bush Tennis Center. The founders of the park say it's the perfect location. They say having the two family friendly spots side by side will help the goal of the park come to life.

"If we can kids together, some of whom are challenged, some of whom are not, and they're playing side by side and not just that but the families," said Davidson.

The Davidson's say the park serves as a bridge overcoming barriers, bringing children with and without disabilities together.

"A lot of people will be able to take advantage of this opportunity," said Keri St. John, head of The Bynum School for those with special needs.

She says right now there's not much of a playground at the school.

"We're always looking for opportunities to let our children get out and play," said St. John.

Play equipment will be installed on padded turf that meets all of the requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act.

"Any student, any child, of any ability, any age will be able to enjoy a park like this," said St. John.

The Davidson's say when it was first built, it was one of only three parks in the nation designed for children with disabilities. Since then, it has served as a model for other wheelchair-accessible parks all over the nation.

"I believe in this not just because it has Chris's name on it but because of the statement it will make about Midland, Texas," said Davidson.