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MODESTO, Calif. (KTXL) — A west Modesto neighborhood park is getting millions of dollars’ worth of upgrades. 

The city was awarded a grant from the state to revamp the outdated park in an underserved community. 

“This is a park that has seen neglect over the years because of the downturn in the economy,” city spokesman Thomas Reeves said.

Reeves says Cesar Chavez Park will undergo a major renovation, thanks to the $8.5 million grant.

“The new amenities that will be added to it will allow a lot more play equipment, a lot more activity there, a lot more uses,” Reeves said.

The park will soon be home to a brand-new aquatic center with a full-sized pool and splash pads. Plans also include a basketball court, soccer field, skate plaza, fitness stations, and an outdoor stage and picnic pavilion. The city says there will be a fee to use the pool

“It will transform this neighborhood,” neighbor Jeremiah Williams said.

Williams grew up across the street from the park. 

“This park has been a safe-haven for a lot of west-siders in Modesto for many, many, many years,” he said.

Williams says he’s excited to see the park be that haven again and draw in people from outside the neighborhood.

“We would want people from all over the city — the west, the south the east, the north to come and enjoy this park,” Williams told FOX40. “We want this to be a destination spot for west Modesto and a highlight for west Modesto.”

Some people are concerned about the homeless camping at the park, which may deter visitors, but the city says they don’t believe it will be a problem once the project is done.

“The negative attributes of vagrancy will not be tolerated there,” Reeves said. “We know that this is really a positive attribute for this community, this neighborhood but also for the entire city. It’s something we can be proud of as a city.”

Construction is scheduled to begin next year and is expected to wrap up by the summer of 2022.