Last month, Shell Deer Park made a $100,000 donation to the city for the construction of its historical Gateway. The Gateway, part of the San Jacinto Texas Historical District Project Stars should begin construction by the fourth quarter of this year.
"We are very, very thankful for Shell Deer Park's donation," Mayor Wayne Riddle. He said the Deer Park plans for the Gateway, which will be located at the north entrance at State Highway 225, has been in the planning stages for a couple of years.
The Gateway Project refers to the construction of symbolic monuments and towers at the intersection of Highway 225 and Center Street. The design will conform to the standards of the San Jacinto Texas Historic District and reflect the important historical legacy of this area.
Shell Deer Park is the first corporate sponsor to provide financial backing for the Gateway Project. During General Manager Mark Byrd's presentation to the city, he remarked that Shell "recognized the Gateway Project was not only a way to help beautify our community, but more importantly, a way for Shell to be woven into the fabric of the city in a truly meaningful and lasting way."
Riddle said he is grateful for not only Shell's donation to the city, but for also encouraging other plants along Deer Park's 225 corridor to assist with the funding.
"We have a $10,000 commitment from Calpine and a other commitments on the way, and that is all thanks to Shell. Because of Shell Deer Park taking the lead on this project, we will see it come to fruition," he said. "They are showing other entities that they are committed to this project and encouraging them to be committed as well."
Other cities in the footprint of the San Jacinto Texas Historical District are participating in the Gateway Project, including Baytown, La Porte, Morgan's Point and Pasadena. Deer Park's Gateway will include four towers rising to 33 feet tall. Two towers will be on the north side of the intersection of State Hwy. 225 and two will be on the south. All four towers will be capped with the symbolic blue Star of Texas.
Riddle said part of the delay with Deer Park starting its Gateway construction was the height of the towers.
"We had to get a variance from the Texas Department of Transportation. Once we finally got approval, we are now able to get the project off the ground," he said.
The tower will rise 15-and-a-half feet above the Center Street overpass on 225. The estimated cost of the tower construction is $215,756 per side.
The Gateway Project has a second optional phase. After the towers are erected, the city and Shell Deer Park have an option to place an epic mural similar to the ones on area refinery tanks. These murals would be on both the north and south sides of the wall of the Center Street overpass.
The city is also planning to enhance the existing entry sign to Deer Park on Center Street at Spencer Highway with the same theme as the Gateway Project. Conceptual designs indicate the addition of two blue Stars of Texas to be added to the top of the existing welcome sign at that intersection.