Life Connected. Magazine | November - December 2022

Page 1

November - December 2022



Selfless, Sacrificial Duty Six Celina Bobcats choose Patriotic Honor and Duty


Our World War II Veterans









November 30


Contents 01 05 09 11


A Note from the City Manager

Celina EDC 2022 New Businesses

City Council Highlights

19 Capital Improvement Projects

Resident Resources Ways to Give this Holiday Season


Connected to our Past: Celina’s Greatest Heroes

23 Public Safety

24 Holiday Safety Tips

25 Selfless, Sacrificial Duty

29 Celina Public Library

31 Things to Do: The Holidays in Celina

03 In Memory of Vicki Tarrant


Joe Monaco, Director of Marketing & Communications Hailey Gomez, Graphic Design Manager Stephanie Webb, Senior Digital Media Analyst Marc Rylander, Senior VP of Communications for Texas (Strategies360) Cassie McKnight, Cassie Lee Photography A special thank you to all of the City of Celina and Celina Economic Development Corporation staff for their contributions to the magazine.

33 Parks & Recreation

35 Neighborhood Feature: Carter Ranch

36 Bringing the Arts to Celina: Fine Arts Master Plan

A NOTE from the City Manager Thank you for taking a few moments to read this edition of Life Connected., the official magazine of the City of Celina. Whether you are a resident of Celina or are just visiting, I hope you will enjoy reading about and seeing pictures of our rich heritage, our exciting present, and the bold days ahead for our City. I cannot think of a more exciting place to live, work, and raise a family during these incomparable days. In the spirit of Veteran’s Day, I am so proud to see the stories of three remaining World War II heroes living in Celina. Their service and sacrifice will forever be a shining light from among the many who have helped shape this community. Also, I want to express the deep gratitude for all who are currently serving in our armed forces and have family here in Celina.

Jason Laumer

City Manager

City Council

Members Sean Terry Mayor

Jay Pierce

Mayor Pro Tem, Place 2

Wendie Wigginton Deputy Mayor Pro Tem, Place 4

Philip Ferguson Place 1

Andy Hopkins Place 3

Through the following pages, you will also see exciting news from around the community that reflects the benefit of some of the growth we are currently experiencing. Most notably, you will see that, with a near 25% annual population growth rate, the tax rate has decreased for the first time since 2009. The City is aggressively working to use its resources to provide the best parks, public safety, and infrastructure to meet the needs of our residents and to maximize the experience of our guests. On a tender note, we highlight in this issue the life, service, and passing of our former City Secretary, Vicki Tarrant. For over 27 years, Vicki’s passion for the City of Celina and for the core values that define us was lived out each day she served. All our lives are better because we knew and loved working with her, and this City is richer as a result of her faithful service. We will soon be making our way through the Thanksgiving and Christmas holiday seasons. These are some of the most enjoyable weeks to enjoy the warmth and charm of the City of Celina. You will find information in this magazine that allows you to plan to be a part of everything that truly makes this the most wonderful time of the year. Again, thank you for taking time to celebrate the excitement and joy that comes with experiencing life in Celina. We talk quite a bit about living Life Connected., and we hope you and your family will be an integral part of the great lifestyle that we all enjoy here in our hometown. Yours truly,

Mindy Koehne Place 5

Tony Griggs Place 6


Life Connected. Magazine | November - December 2022

Jason Laumer City Manager, City of Celina





While decreasing the tax rate by one penny, the City is dedicated to operating within its core values and is determined to provide excellent public safety, parks, and infrastructure. Growth is occurring at a rapid pace and the tax rate established ensures the high level of service residents have come to expect is maintained in the years ahead.

Population Count by Year 14,680


Growth is increasing at approximately 25% per year!


'19 '20



'21 '22


Total Tax Rate $.6450



$.6450 $.6348

For the first time since 2009, the tax rate has decreased by one penny. '19



Celina ISD 62%

Did you know? Only 27% of your property taxes go to the City of Celina. These funds are distributed to multiple departments to help fund operations.

City of Celina 27%


'22 Collin College 4%

Collin County 7%



Life Connected. Magazine | November - December 2022

The City of Celina mourns the passing of our longtime friend and public servant Vicki Tarrant, who passed away on October 24, 2002, after a yearlong battle with cancer. Vicki joined the City of Celina in 1995 and was one of the pillars of our administration where she served as the City Secretary for 27 years before her recent move to Special Projects Coordinator this past summer. Vicki held many hats during her nearly three-decade career, including City Secretary and City Treasurer as well as duties within the Budget Office and Human Resources Department. To the lives that she touched, Vicki exhibited our Core Values of Excellence, Community, Integrity, and Service on a daily basis. When she came to the City, the estimated population was an estimated 1,800 and played an instrumental role in helping the shape the City of Celina as we know it today.

“Vicki was such a sweet and caring person,” said Jason Laumer, Celina City Manager. “It cannot be overstated the impact that Vicki had on our City for 27 years. Our entire staff was touched by Vicki over the years she served, and our lives are all better because we knew her. She will leave a lasting legacy on our City.” A native of Plano, Vicki graduated from Plano Senior High School in 1980 and worked as an accountant for Blair Reprographics before joining The Center for Neck and Back Injury in Addison as its Controller. In her free time, Vicki enjoyed playing wind flutes, gardening, journaling, and spending time outdoors. She cherished special moments with friends and family and loved to share her passion for cooking.

Life Connected. Magazine | November - December 2022



City Council Highlights MEETING INFORMATION


ity Council Meetings are held the second Tuesday of each month. Regular meetings begin at 5:00 PM at 112 N. Colorado Street, Celina, Texas 75009.

Each meeting is livestreamed and recorded for those that cannot attend. Streaming information and agenda packets can be found online at

City Manager Contract Renewal

Arbor Day Proclamation

In September the City Council voted to renew City Manager, Jason Laumer’s contract for another five years.

Mayor Sean Terry proclaimed October 8, 2022 as Arbor Day in the City of Celina.

Flag Presentation Council member Andy Hopkins, presented an American Flag to Chief John Cullison for his military and law enforcement service.


Recognition of Board and Commission Members Outgoing Board and Commission Members were recognized for their dedication and service to the City.

Life Connected. Magazine | November - December 2022

Excellence in Procurement Award The City of Celina’s Purchasing Department received the Achievement of Excellence in Procurement Award.

Gift from Kimley Horn Kimley-Horn presented the City with a gift of an art replica of the street network of Downtown Celina.

Summer Reading Program

During the October Council Meeting, several participants from the Library’s 2022 Summer Reading Program and the Cowboy Poetry Contest were recognized for their participation and completion of the program.

Heritage Festival Cowboy Poetry Winners 1st Place: Chloe Lee 2nd Place: Mason Lee 3rd Place: Annabelle Forner

Summer Reading Program Winners Elli Mae Barton

Rhett Hiles

Vanya Sai Lakshm Bobbili

Reggie Krepps

Mahathi Bommagani

Sahard Mavaclat

Srihitha Bommagani

Sai Moksha Kruthi Pikkili

Rayley Chapin

Adalyn Roeschley

Abby Diaz

Hudson Magsalin

Lucas Fischbeck

Scarlett Magslain

Timothy Fischbeck

Kelly Pierre

Hailey Forner

Jackson Vaughn

Chloe Lee reads her Cowboy Poem at Heritage Festival

Life Connected. Magazine | November - December 2022


Heritage Festival

Celina Police Headquarters Groundbreaking


Heritage Festival

National Night Out

Heritage Festival

National Night Out



Fire Station 3 Groundbreaking

Heritage Festival

Heritage Festival

Library Craft Time

Heritage Festival

Heritage Festival Volunteers

Life Connected. Magazine | November - December 2022

Friday Night Market

Life Connected. Magazine | November - December 2022


RESIDENT RESOURCES GIS INTERACTIVE DASHBOARD The City of Celina utilizes GIS Interactive & Static Dashboards to keep residents informed on Capital Improvement Projects, Lot Inventory, Existing & Potential School Sites, and Zoning to name a few. GIS stands for Geographic Information Systems, which are computerized systems that incorporate geographic features with tabular data in order to map, analyze, and assess real world problems. GIS applications allow end users to perform analysis, edit spatial data, and create hard copy and web-based maps. In the local government environment, GIS improves decision making with the help of layered information, optimizes cost savings with greater efficiency, and improves communication between different departments, elected officials, management, and our residents. Just about everything a community, business, or public agency does is related to its geography, especially in hyper-growth communities. This is why GIS is a critical factor in contributing to informed decision making. Many routine operations of local government are tied to a location and rely on the use of GIS to accomplish their goals. Simply put, the efficiencies generated by GIS are invaluable and greatly accelerate the speed and accuracy at which we can conduct business.


Life Connected. Magazine | November - December 2022

Ogi Colakovic, GIS Director and Lisa Kasemodel, Senior GIS Analyst

Public Static Maps Celina Marketing Brochure Character Framework City Limits & ETJ Downtown Drinks to Go Downtown Parking EDC Map Existing & Potential School Sites Fiber Providers Parks Master Plan Road Projects Subdivisions Thoroughfare Map Trails Master Plan Visit Downtown Celina Zoning

Public Interactive Maps All in One Arts & Parks Capital Improvement Projects Celina Eats & Drinks Celina Shops Celebrate Community: A Glance at Growth EDC Interactive Lot Inventory Master Planned Communities Off the Beaten Path: Celina Leadership Public Crime Map Resident Dashboard Schools Serving Celina Through the Lens of Legacy Traffic Counts Trash Pick Up Traverse the Trails


Life Connected. Magazine | November - December 2022



Beginning November 10, the Celina Police Department will provide the list of available Celina families in need this Christmas season. It’s because of you and your genuine love for your community, that these children will be able to celebrate Christmas. Visit bluesanta for more information.

GRACE BRIDGE Thanksgiving Food Drive

Grace Bridge is collecting food until Friday, November 18, for our Thanksgiving Food Distribution. If you are interested in holding a food drive within your community to collect Thanksgiving-related food items such as pies, canned goods, etc. please reach out to Kayla Jones at or call the office at (214) 425-9423.

Wrapped in Love

Christmas is a wonderful time of year for most families, but we know there are families who struggle to make ends meet, and being able to afford gifts is an even greater burden. This event gives parents the dignity of providing gifts while giving us the chance to communicate with them the greatest gift of Christmas which is Jesus Christ. We love to bless families in need by offering them the opportunity to give special gifts to their children.


On Wednesday, December 7, at 6:00 PM join the Preston Trails Rotary as they host a toy drop event in front of City Hall. Santa and the U.S. Marines will be out to greet everyone! The mission of the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots Program is to collect new, unwrapped toys during October, November and December each year, and distribute those toys as Christmas gifts to less fortunate children in the community. Visit for more information.


Life Connected. Magazine | November - December 2022


HELPING HANDS OF CELINA Honey Baked Ham Fundraiser

Helping Hands of Celina has partnered with Honey Baked Ham to sell gift cards. They will give 20% of the proceeds to Helping Hands so if you are planning to serve ham, turkey, or any of their delicious sides and desserts at your holiday gathering please consider getting a gift card now to use later. Fundraiser ends November 23! Visit fundraisers/Helping_Hands_of_Celina_ Thanksgiving_Fundraiser to donate!

Cornerstone Christmas is coming! We need you to get involved to help give 359 kids the best Christmas ever! Be a sponsor, volunteer, host a drive, or donate toys! Contact Kelsie Simpson at and Jen Lutes at to get involved.

Be a Host Family

What is a host family? This event is large and can be overwhelming for some of our families. We pair each family receiving assistance with a host family. The host family will walk with their family through the event and help them pick out gifts, and carry all of their items as they progress though the event. Contact Amy Bartley to sign up:

More Ways to Stay Connected! FACEBOOK







Life Connected. Magazine | November - December 2022



Celina’s Greatest Heroes OUR WORLD WAR II VETERANS


ife in Celina, Texas bustled as families bid farewell to the 1941 Thanksgiving holiday and decorated their homes in preparation for the coming Christmas season in their small farming community. On the first Saturday of December, merchants welcomed residents and visitors into their stores on the Downtown Square. Parents and grandparents from around town would meet and greet one another as they looked at clothes and shoes at Bray Dry Goods Co., picked up stocking stuffers at Allen’s Variety Store, purchased gifts for family and friends at the Celina Mercantile Co., or grabbed something to take to the evening holiday party from Malone and McKnight’s “fresh fruits, meats, and fancy groceries.” Throughout that Saturday afternoon and evening, kids were enjoying the picture show at the Ritz Theater on the Square. The next morning, folks in Celina would wake up like any other Sunday morning and prepare to attend one of the vibrant churches in the community. Services that day would celebrate the Advent season, pointing congregants from around town toward the coming glory of Christmas. Church services would wrapup, families would hurry home for a Sunday meal, and would gather around a radio for their favorite weekend programming. However, very quickly the Sunday like any other would soon become one unlike any.


Life Connected. Magazine | November - December 2022

by Marc Rylander

At 1:22 PM Central Standard Time, White House Press Secretary Stephen Early came across the radio airwaves and made a world-changing announcement. “The Japanese have attacked Pearl Harbor from the air and all naval and military activities on the island of Oahu, principal American base in the Hawaiian Islands,” he told Americans everywhere. In one moment in time, the world was transformed, this nation was shocked and horrified, and the small community of Celina sat silent, waiting to see how dramatically this new world at war would impact and forever change this community. Dramatic, in fact, the impact would be. The next day, President Franklin D. Roosevelt asked Congress to declare war with his famous Day of Infamy Speech with the solemn promise that “this form of treachery shall never endanger us again.” From that promise until the dropping of two atomic bombs on August 6th and 8th of 1945, 16 million Americans would serve in uniform in World War II to back up the president’s words. The gut-wrenching pains of war would quickly and dramatically impact the people in Celina. Boys who wore Celina Bobcat uniforms just days before would now be in those issued by the military. Girls who cheered and played in the Bobcats’ marching band

would soon be on their way to serve. In all, dozens of young men and women who called Celina home would leave Collin County for places unknown, knowing not if they would ever return. Over 40 of their memoirs are recorded in paper volumes and online at the Celina Heritage Association. Their stories are powerful, candid, colorful, and heroic. Many of them returned to Celina to live out their years. Twenty-two never had the chance to come home; they paid the ultimate sacrifice for our country. Their names are forever etched on the memorial clock on the south end of the historic Square in Downtown Celina where many of their happy childhood memories were made and where they would have loved to return. Today, The National WWII Museum in New Orleans says that, of the 16 million who served, only 167,000 survivors of the Great War are still living. Of the approximately 8,200 World War II heroes still living in Texas in 2022, only three remain in Celina—two more are reported to live just outside of town. People today walk by these veterans around town and, perhaps, never realize their profound place in our nation’s history and in the history of Celina. As Veteran’s Day approaches, their names and their stories should be illuminated. Though they would shutter at the designation, they are heroes in this community. Thankfully Bob McKnight, a Celina historian, sat down with many of Celina’s veterans from across the years and from different wars and captured and transcribed their stories. Below are edited excerpts from each of the memoirs of the three living survivors from World War II still calling Celina their home.

James Roland “J.R.” McIlroy United States Army


Expecting to be drafted, James Roland McIlroy, after completing five semesters at Texas A&M, volunteered for the Army in 1943. With an IQ of 125, he was sent to Camp Maxey in Paris, TX, and was then sent by the Army back to college to study Engineering in Commerce. In February of 1944, McIlroy was called back to Fort Maxie to prepare for battle. He was sent to the German – Belgian border in the Ardenne Forest. He arrived there on November 10, 1944, and dug a foxhole in the snow from where he would engage in combat for 90 days during the Battle of the Bulge. There, the Germans sent wave after wave of men, tanks, and artillery at the American forces. McIlroy said the snowy field often looked like a checkerboard of white and red—with the blood of countless soldiers spotting the battlefield. On December 17, 1944, McIlroy, a member of the 2nd Battalion, Company F, 99th Division, and a fellow soldier came face to face with the enemy. The Germans shot and killed his friend and hit and destroyed McIlroy’s rifle, yet he was able to narrowly escape through nearby woods. Over the next bitterly cold days, McIlroy would continue to engage with German troops, including fighting with bayonets in hand-to-hand combat. On January 30, 1945, McIlroy received a grazing wound from rifle fire. With the gun-battle so intense, he was pinned in place and began to freeze. By the time troops got him to the hospital, he was suffering from gangrene. After eight months in the hospital, he was finally discharged in October of 1945. McIlroy received the Purple Heart and Bronze Star for his valiant service. He returned home and finished his undergraduate studies at Texas A&M.


Life Connected. Magazine | November - December 2022


Ralph L. O’Dell United States Army Ralph O’Dell tried to join the Army with his friend Pete Kinney when he was 16 years old, but his father, Tom O’Dell, would not sign the papers, so he had to wait and was drafted to the Army in 1943. He was sent to Camp Callan in San Diego where he would undergo 16 weeks of training on the azimuth tracker to help in the operation and firing of the anti-aircraft artillery 40MM guns. The azimuth tracker was an early predecessor to the computer. From training, O’Dell was shipped to the South Pacific in February of 1944. He would engage in action in New Zealand, New Guinea, the Solomon Islands, and many islands on over to the Philippines. As a part of a “non-divisional artillery unit,” he would be sent wherever he was needed to support the Army, Navy, or Air Force. They provided support for troops by firing upon enemy aircraft and, after Leyte, they fired upon ground targets with over 100 four-pound shells per minute. These shells consisted of armor piercing, high explosives, and tracers and had a range of 6,000 yards. As the battles of World War II began to decrease, O’Dell worked at battery headquarters as a typist. He was mustered out of the Army at the age of 20. He earned the Pacific Medal, the Bronze Star, and the Meritorious Service Medal.

If you are interested in Celina’s World War II history, visit the Celina Heritage Museum at 211 W. Pecan St


Life Connected. Magazine | November - December 2022

John G. Rothfus, Jr. United States Army Air Corps Johnny Rothfus entered the Army on February 1, 1944, after receiving a six-month deferment while working on the family farm. He was sent to Mineral Wells, Wichita Falls, and Laredo for basic Air Forces training. From there he went to Tucson, AZ, where bomber crews were assembled for advanced gunnery training aboard a B-24 bomber. Rothfus’ destination would be Foggia Air Force Base, Italy, as a tail gunner in a B-24 with the 98th Bomber Group, 445th Squadron. His first numbing mission would be on a railroad facility in Vienna, Austria. Most of the bombing runs he went on were against the German rail yards in Austria. He flew 18 missions during his assignment in Italy. It was on his fourth of those missions that his plane was hit by anti-aircraft shrapnel shells. They were forced to bail out and ditch their plane near Split, Yugoslavia. Thankfully, none of their tenman crew were severely injured. Once the crew had regathered, they opened their escape kits and removed the money and maps provided to each airman. The kit included $50 in US currency to use for escape purposes. The men bought various items, and Rothfus bought a scarf to take home to his wife. British soldiers in the area to help downed crews found the group and returned them to their base so they could finish out the war. He was discharged on October 30, 1945 and returned home to Celina. Rothfus earned the Air Medal with 1 Bronze Oakleaf Cluster, a Purple Heart, EAME with 1 Silver Battle Star, a Good Conduct Medal, and the Overseas Bar.

These servants and their stories still stir hearts of people in Celina today. In some way, the sacrifices they were willing to make to fulfill their sworn duty draw us away from so much of the noise that clutters our lives. These brave men left this place willing to give their all, risking their lives every day for a cause that was bigger than them, but they did it for an outcome that would provide freedom and promise for generations beyond them. They did it for the place we call Home. “When you meet these men and hear their stories, you quickly comprehend the gravity of their service and the profound impact their sacrifices had for the betterment of society,” said U.S. Army veteran and Celina City Council member Andy Hopkins, an active leader in the local American Legion. “They served in bloody battles where friends died around them often, and they came home to Celina with 22 less than they left with. These are the greatest heroes that the Greatest Generation ever gave us.”

Life Connected. Magazine | November - December 2022


CELINA ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION 2022 NEW BUSINESSES 2022 was a banner year for the City of Celina in terms of new businesses opening. Nicknamed “Boomtown” by local media outlets, Celina welcomed the announcement that Costco would be building a 160,000-square-foot building on 43 acres of land in Celina, which is expected to bring 1,000-to-1,400 new jobs to the area. While the announcement of Costco made a big splash across the news outlets, Celina watched as 17 additional businesses opened its door to customers in the past year. Whether it was small businesses like Honeysuckle Rose Boutique or Terramania opening in the Downtown Square or Starbucks, Independence Chiropractic, or The Pin Cushion setting up shop along Preston Rd, Celina is ready to prove that heading into 2023 that it is truly the Boomtown of the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex. IN 2022, 17 NEW BUSINESSES OPENED ITS DOOR IN THE CITY OF CELINA


Life Connected. Magazine | November - December 2022










Amazing Explorers Academy

1650 W. Frontier Pkwy (469) 296-8180

Andy’s Sprinkler & Drainage

881 N. Louisiana St (972) 236-9905

Celina Montessori

3905 S. Preston Rd (469) 564-1299

Chicago Title Hesse

1212 S. Preston Rd (469) 304-4625

First State Bank Celina

201 S. Preston Rd Ste 200 (972) 382-0033

HOA Pools Commercial Cleaning & Repair

1922 Choate Pkwy Ste 130 (469) 990-6818

Home Based Learning Academy

710 S. Oklahoma Dr (903) 227-3981

Honeysuckle Rose Boutique

322 W. Walnut St (833) 947-7673

Independence Chiropractic

3248 S. Preston Rd Ste 120 (214) 851-0000









PDR Texas Auto Hail Repair

1922 Choate Pkwy Ste 140 (833) 737-8901

Pure Form Training

695 N. Preston Rd. Ste 5 (469) 907-5650

Shades of Green

1213 E Sunset Blvd (972) 335-9095

Starbucks Celina

1255 S. Preston Rd (469) 813-0674

SYK Rides Window Tint & Auto Detail

1922 Choate Pkwy Ste 131 (972) 439-8841


219 W. Pecan St (469) 202-3170

The Pin Cushion - Body Piercing Celina

695 N. Preston Rd Ste 120 (972) 382-9511

Thrown Axe Company

412 N. Oklahoma Dr Ste 108 (972) 949-1872


Life Connected. Magazine | November - December 2022


Capital Improvement Project


The City of Celina is committed to being smart and strategic in how we grow. One of the ways that we show our commitment is through Capital Improvement Projects, which are partnerships between the City and local contractors for roadways, waterlines, sanitary sewers, stormwater, and drainage improvements.

FACILITIES Under Construction • • • • •

Celina Police Headquarters Downtown Parking Improvements on S Ohio Dr and N Louisiana Dr Senior Center at Bobcat Stadium Complex Fire Station 3 (Sutton Fields) Public Works Administration Building Improvements

PARKS Under Study •

Phase 1 of Feasibility Study for Ousley Park

Under Design • • •

New playground at Old Celina Park Wilson Creek Park Master Plan Preston Rd Green Ribbon from FM 455 to Legacy Rd

Under Construction •


Construction of the Downtown Alley Patio Project

Life Connected. Magazine | November - December 2022

SEWER Under Design •

Downtown Wastewater Reclamation Plant Expansion to 3 MGD

Under Construction • • • • •

Installing Sewer Line from E Ash St to Preston Rd along S Oklahoma Dr Installing Sewer Line along S Oklahoma Dr to Sunset Force Lift Station Installing Sewer Line in Downtown Square as part of Downtown Patio Project Sunset Lift Station Legacy Hills Wastewater Reclamation Plant Expansion to 0.95 MGD Phase 1

WATER Under Study •

Feasibility Study for Southeast Water Ground Storage, Pump Station, and Transmission Pipeline

Under Design • • •

Dallas Pkwy 54”, 42”, and 36” Waterline from Celina Rd Pump Station to J. Fred Smith Pkwy N Preston Rd 24” and 18” Waterline from Marble St to Public Works Administration Building 12” waterline on Frontier Pkwy from Preston Hill Cir to Coit Rd

Under Construction • • •

Louisiana 18” Waterline Phase 1B - CR 95 to CR 99 Construction of a new six-million gallon water ground storage tank along Celina Rd and FM 428 Celina Rd Pump Station Phase 3

Life Connected. Magazine | November - December 2022


Capital Improvement Project



ROADS Under Design • • • • • • • • • • • • •

FM 428 (Glendenning Pkwy) Expansion to a six lane divided from Dallas Pkwy to Preston Rd Preston Rd Lighting Phase 4 - N Legacy Dr to Marilee Rd CR 53 Improvements - Doe Branch to Glen Crossing Parvin Rd Asphalt Improvements - Asphalt Reconstruction from Bothwell Blvd to N Legacy Dr Parvin Rd Schematic Phase 1 - Expansion to four lanes from FM 1385 to Dallas Pkwy S Arizona Dr and S Colorado Dr Improvements from W Ash St to W Cedar St – storm drain, water, sewer, and roadway improvements Dallas Pkwy and Collin County Outer Loop Eastbound Frontage Rd Temporary Traffic Signal Ownsby Pkwy - Expansion to four lanes from Preston Rd to Coit Rd Coit Rd - Construction of two lanes of concrete from Vest Lane to north of Punk Carter Blvd. Celina Pkwy Schematic Design - CR 52 to FM 428 Preston Rd Lighting Phase 3 - Lynn Stambaugh Pwky to Legacy Dr Frontier Pkwy from Preston Rd to Custer Rd Choate Pkwy from Kinship Pkwy to Custer Rd

Under Construction • • • • • •


Preston Rd Street Lighting Phase 2 - Glendenning Rd to Lynn Stambaugh Pkwy Downtown Inner Loop Phase 1 - Improvements to storm drain system, roadway, water, sewer, lighting, and landscaping on Colorado Dr, Beech St, Ohio St, and Pecan St. Maryland St and Lakeview Way - Improvements to drainage system and roadway panel replacements Outer Loop Eastbound Frontage Rd from Preston Rd to Custer Rd Frontier Pkwy from Preston Rd to Dallas Pkwy Doe Branch Creek bank stabilization along S Arkansas Dr between E Oak St and E Ash St

Life Connected. Magazine | November - December 2022

Single Family Home Permits


January - September 2022











112 105





51 42


23 14

19 8


7 1




Life Connected. Magazine | November - December 2022



Fire Station 3 Groundbreaking

Celina Police Headquarters Groundbreaking On Tuesday, September 27, the Celina Police Department, Celina Volunteers in Policing, City leadership and staff members gathered to celebrate the groundbreaking of the official Celina Police Headquarters, which will be located at the corner of Punk Carter Pkwy and Coit Rd. Designed by Brinkley Sargent Wiginton Architects and constructed by Lee Lewis Construction, the 75,000-squarefeet, the Celina Police Headquarters will be constructed in multiple phases. The first phase will be 32,000-square-feet and will include the main headquarters, community room, training room, office space, kitchen, and courtyard space. Phase 1 is expected to be completed in Spring 2024.


Life Connected. Magazine | November - December 2022

On Thursday, September 8, the Celina Fire Department, City leadership, and staff members celebrated the groundbreaking of Fire Station 3. Located at the southeast corner of FM 1385 and Ballenger Road, Fire ataion 3 will serve Sutton Fields and the surrounding areas. Designed by HED and constructed by Crossland Construction, Fire Station 3 will include five apparatus bays, community room, living, dining, and sleeping quarters, gym, locker room, and training rooms. Fire Station 3 is expected to be open in the Fall 2023.


• During the last two months of the year, about 200 people a day suffer decoration-related injuries. • Most injuries are related to falling off ladders, stairs, furniture, rooftops and porches. The results are: fractures, concussions, and muscle pulls.


8 8Holiday

• Christmas trees and decorations account for almost 2,000 fires each year. • Thousands of candlerelated fires happen during the holidays, with Christmas and New Year’s Day seeing most candle fires. • The winter season also sees a rise in heating, cooking, and electrical fires.

most common

SAFETY Food Poisoning

• Foodborne illnesses are most common around the holidays. • Lack of hygiene while preparing or reheating food ruins numerous winter holidays each year. • Storing cleaning products and chemicals near food or not using original containers can lead to accidental poisoning. • Consuming leftovers that were not stored/refrigerated properly can cause illness.

Electric Shocks

• Thousands of people are treated each holiday season after sustaining an electric shock. • Electric incidents are mostly caused by carelessness and misuse of the decorations and can be the cause of cardiac arrests and tissue and nerve damage among others.

Car Crashes

• Car crashes cause most injuries and fatalities during the holiday season. • There are more drivers on the road. • They are also stressed, rushed, and sometimes driving impaired. • Fatigue and poor weather conditions can often be a factor.

HAZARDS Guest Safety

• Visitors who are unfamiliar with your house layout are likely to trip and fall without proper lighting. • Curious children may go through cabinets and people’s things, often finding medicines and other substances that can be lethal.

Cuts and Burns

Back Injury

• Over 84,000 people were treated for injuries related to carrying luggage in 2015. • Rushing and the frustration of the holiday season make people forget to use proper lifting techniques.

• Packaging-related injuries resulted in approximately 6,000 emergency-room visits in 2006. Excitement, rushing, complacency and fatigue can be dangerous when combined with sharp utensils. • Numerous cuts, lacerations and burns are sustained while preparing holiday meals.

Life Connected. Magazine | November - December 2022


SELFLESS, SACRIFICIAL DUTY Six Celina Bobcats choose Patriotic Honor and Duty


he Spring Semester of 2019 seemed to begin like any other at Celina High School. Emerging from the fog of the Christmas holidays, students returned to their classes to plow through the seemingly endless days that would eventually wind their way to Spring Break. Life seemed normal as local activities, college visits, and spring sports soon filled the calendars as everyone awaited the annual rite of passage enjoyed by students and teachers everywhere. During that same semester, an unprecedented news story was taking shape and building some momentum. In early reports, the events were unfolding on the other side of the world and seemed to have no bearing to folks in Celina, Texas. Yet the story kept morphing. Soon, this unknown virus that gutted villages in China and throughout Asia was now reported in the United States. Suddenly, people here paid attention. When Spring Break finally arrived, it would tragically signal the end to the “normal” that students had always known. Shockingly, it would signal the end to the school year, sports, arts, and life as everyone knew it. During those long days and eternal weeks when the world stood still, six Celina juniors were watching the events unfold and were thinking about their future. Their junior year came and went, and their senior experience would also be dramatically impacted. Unbeknown to the others, these six students wrestled with life during a pandemic and life beyond the pandemic, should normalcy ever return. At different times, yet in shockingly similar fashion, all would land at the same conclusion and embrace the same calling. While today the world seems somewhat back to normal, for these six Celina Bobcats from the Class of 2020 and their families, their worlds would never be the same.


Life Connected. Magazine | November - December 2022

3/C Midshipman Logan Point U.S. Naval Academy

Bryson Brown U.S. Army, Infantry E3

LCpl Natalie Gonzalez U.S. Marine Corp

Cpl Carston Cromwell U.S. Marine Corps

LCpl Reese Bedford U.S. Marine Corps

LCpl Zach Roberts U.S. Marine Corps

DARK DAYS THAT DEFINED THEIR HIGH SCHOOL YEARS WOULD NOT DETERMINE THEIR DESTINIES. DUTY WOULD. SELFLESS, SACRIFICIAL DUTY. Here at home, despite Celina’s exponential growth, class sizes are still relatively small in comparison to surrounding communities. So, when a class has six students that voluntarily enlist to serve in the United States Armed Forces, the impact is noticeable. Celina ISD Superintendent Dr. Tom Maglisceau stated, “The fact that these six students emerged from a challenging season with a call and duty to serve this country is something for which I will forever be proud and grateful. These six Celina Bobcats from the Class of 2020, and all of our former students serving in the United States Military, should be highly honored in our community and throughout this great nation and wherever they serve. Their sacrifice and service, although challenging for family members and friends who often miss their presence, is one of the most noble, honorable, and selfess duties to which a young person can commit their lives.” “Bryson was planning to go to school and play basketball,” said Celina resident and Bryson’s mom, Chandra Brown. “I’ll never forget when he pulled me aside one day and said, ‘Mama, I’ve got something to tell you.’ I immediately knew what he was going to tell me; I just knew. And I also knew our response didn’t matter. It was a done deal. He was going to the Army.” The story was similar for the Cromwell family and to the others. “Late in his junior year, Carston still had no idea what he wanted to do,” said Celina resident and Carston’s mom, Melissa Cromwell. “He had decided to just go to school locally, because he just didn’t know what he wanted to do. One day, he came home and said he had visited with a Marine recruiter and said he was going to be a Marine.”

Life Connected. Magazine | November - December 2022




The families of the young men and women from Celina who currently have members in the service, quickly realized the less-than-shiny side of military life. An empty chair at holidays, birthday celebrations, and other life moments still hurts the hearts of the loved ones missing their presence. The long days when their sons and daughters are in training or engaged in other exercises that prevent their ability to communicate cause unbelievable, but often unspoken periods of duress. Carston Cromwell’s mother would often look to her Life360 account to see where he might be. She shared, “A parent can’t imagine the feeling of looking at Life360 only to find the message ‘No Location Found,’ and that went on for weeks.” They keep shrines in their homes adorned with countdowns until their next expected visits, their parents share through tears. Parents and grandparents anxiously hope their loved one can come home for Christmas. At times, they can go weeks and weeks without hearing their voices, a reminder that should weigh heavily on everyone back home. Celina Mayor Sean Terry, whose son graduated with these six servicemen, stated, “As we prepare to gather and celebrate the upcoming holidays, we should be especially mindful of the sacrifices these families make while those they love are away protecting our nation and America’s interests around the world. We can take time to thank these families, to encourage them, and to remember to pray for these Celina kids who may not get to be home for Christmas.” Early in their service, these military families had to rely heavily on encouragement and prayers. The pandemic had a dramatic impact on their ability to visit their sons and daughters. Bases were quarantined. Ceremonies were virtual. Parents wanting to hug their child had to wait. With communications sparce during their early days of service, the impact compounded. Soon, however, restrictions loosened. Finally, these six families got to see their kids. For the Browns, it meant they got to go to Fort Benning for graduation. The Cromwells drove to Pensacola during Snowmageddon 2022. On that particular journey, they sat still on Interstate 20 from 7:00 at night until 9:00 in the morning in temperatures below zero, as traffic was stopped. In the end, it didn’t matter. They would soon see their son. Each of these families took the first chance to unite. Now, to the joy of their families and friends, those in uniform have been able to come home to Celina. Those emotional reunions that many people tearfully watch online have become personal and real to these six families and all the others. Through tears, and sometimes laughter, the hugs finally happened. “Bryson had scheduled to come home, but he called and said that growing tensions in Europe meant no travel. I was so sad. I didn’t even want to decorate for Christmas,” Brown shared. “On Friday, December 17th, we drove to Denison to get our boosters just in case we would be able to go to Georgia and see him. When we got back, we opened the door and Bryson was standing there. He had totally pulled one over on us, but I didn’t care. My baby was home.” Home. It is the goal of each of these, and all military families, as the holidays quickly approach. Some will make it this year; others will have to wait. In Celina, residents will anxiously wait to welcome home these who the Mayor designates, “The men and women from Celina who are currently serving in our military really are our modern-day heroes.” At a recent gathering of some Celina military parents, they were asked, despite how hard life can be to be separated from their kids, would they change it if they could. In unison and at a resounding level, with misty eyes, they said, “No!” “If he’s happy, we are happy,” said Cromwell. Brown added, “He’s where he needs to be.”


Life Connected. Magazine | November - December 2022




Soldier’s Angels mission is to provide aid, comfort, and resources to the military and veteran community— no matter what that individual’s political or religious affiliations might be.

In October 2003, Forgotten Soldiers Outreach was born to help send that little bit of home to our troops. Service members are provided with much needed care items, as well as letters of encouragement.

ADOPT A PLATOON AdoptaPlatoon Soldier Support Effort® founded in 1998 is a nonprofit 501C-3 dedicated to serving deployed United States Service Men and Women ensuring that they are not forgotten by a grateful Nation; providing on-going care packages to improve quality of life and raising morale for those serving overseas in the Army, Air Force, Navy, Marine Corp, Coast Guard and Special Forces.

AMERICA’S ADOPT A SOLDIER America’s Adopt a Soldier® was founded in 2009 by Mary Keeser, a retired Army Officer. Mary founded this organization in an effort to combine several ongoing support activities that have matured over the past five years. By combining these resources into one united formal program, Mary has positioned America’s Adopt a Soldier® to better serve and respond to the needs of our Veterans, Soldiers and their families. America’s Adopt a Soldier® program is chartered to make a difference in the lives of our Veterans, Soldiers and their families. Life Connected. Magazine | November - December 2022



Story time with Public Works

What’s New: ON THE SAME PAGE BOOK CLUB If you follow us on social media, you may have seen that the Celina Public Library has recently started a new book club! “On the Same Page” is an adults-only book club that meets on the first Tuesday at 10:00 AM and the first Thursday at 6:30 PM of the month in the Library. Come join us for our December book club where the group is currently reading The Housekeeper and the Professor by Yoko Ogawa.

Need a Library Card? Scan here to apply for one today!


Life Connected. Magazine | November - December 2022


Take a stroll at Old Celina Park and read through our newest Story Book Trail features:

November’s Featured Book

December’s Featured Book

Story and Craft Time Story and Craft Time






Life Connected. Magazine | November - December 2022


The Holidays in Celina



City Council Meeting 5:00 PM | City Council Chambers

Celina City Council Meetings occur on the second Tuesday of each month at 5:00 PM in the City Council Chambers located at 112 N. Colorado St. City Council Meetings are livestreamed and recorded. Visit


Celina Police Department

Coffee with Council 8:30 AM | Lucy’s on the Square

Join our Mayor Sean Terry along with the members of our City Council for Coffee with Council on Thursday, November 17 at 8:30 AM at Lucy’s on the Square. Come out and engage, ask questions and hear directly from our City leadership.

Christmas on the Square 11/30

Presented by SRC Local Markets

5:00 – 9:00 PM | Downtown Square

Enjoy the wonder of the Christmas season as SRC Local Markets proudly presents the 11th Annual Christmas on the Square! Experience our magical tree-lighting ceremony, enjoy cupcakes with Mrs. Claus, meet Santa’s reindeer, enjoy performances by local groups, and don’t miss out on a very special a meet-and-greet with Santa himself!


Free Photos with Santa 11:00 AM - 1:00 PM | Downtown Square

Join us on the Square to meet Old Saint Nick and get FREE professional photos taken in front of the Downtown Christmas Tree.


Toys for Tots 6:00 PM | Downtown Square

On Wednesday, December 7, join the Celina Rotary Club in front of City Hall for the 75th Anniversary Toys for Tots Toy Drop! Santa and the U.S. Marines will be on site to visit with residents and take photos. Swirls Bakery will host a Cocoa Bar. All toy donations will go to Collin County children.

Blue Santa

Beginning November 10, Celina Police Department will provide the list of available Celina families in need this Christmas season. It’s because of you and your genuine love for your community, that these children will be able to celebrate Christmas. Visit for all the information



Life Connected. Magazine | November - December 2022

Celina Gift Tour 12/10

presented by City Lifestyle

9:00 AM – 12:00 PM | Downtown Square

The City of Celina and Celina EDC invite you to join in on the Celina Gift Tour presented by City Lifestyle! On the day of the event, you will receive a festive holiday shopping bag and a map of all of the participating stores! At each store, you will find a special gift to fill your bag and refreshments while you shop for your loved ones! Tickets go on sale Saturday, November 12 at 10:00 AM and sell out FAST - save the date to purchase your tickets (limit 2 tickets per sale).


City Council Meeting 5:00 PM | City Council Chambers

Celina City Council Meetings occur on the second Tuesday of each month at 5:00 PM in the City Council Chambers located at 112 N. Colorado St. City Council Meetings are livestreamed and recorded. Visit


Free Santa’s Reinsteer Photos 11:00 AM - 1:00 PM | Downtown Square

Join us on the Square to get FREE professional photos taken with our Christmas Reinsteer.


Coffee with a Cop 11:00 AM - 1:00 PM | Downtown Square

Join our Celina Police Officers for free coffee and cocoa on the Square. Come out and engage, ask questions and hear directly from our officers.


Fire Santa is back this year to visit all of the boys and girls of Celina! Scan the QR code below to view the route he will take through your neighborhood!


Sutton Fields & Creeks of Legacy


Light Farms


Ownsby Farms, Carter Ranch, & Bluewood


Preston Hills, Lilyana, Twelve Oaks, Mustang Lakes, Rolling Meadows, Wellsprings Estates


Parkside, Downtown, Preston 455/Shawnee Trail, Heritage, Morgan Lakes


North Preston Lakes, Chalk Hill, DC Ranch, Buffalo Ridge, High Point Estates


Green Meadows, Cambridge Crossing, The Columns, Greenway, Glen Crossing

Life Connected. Magazine | November - December 2022


Parks & Recreation


Life Connected. Magazine | November - December 2022

Fall Sports






10:30 AM Exercise

11:30 AM Wood Carving, Games, Bridge

10:30 AM Exercise

10:30 AM Volleyball by Sher-Den

10:30 AM Exercise

11:15 AM Lunch

2:30 PM “Old Guy Fireside Chat”

11:15 AM Lunch

11:15 AM Lunch

12:00 PM Mahjong

If you are interested in providing a program, sponsoring a lunch, or making a donation, please contact the Celina Senior Center at (972) 382-7730 or contact Jeff Davis, Assistant Parks Director, at (972) 382-2682 (x6002).

Life Connected. Magazine | November - December 2022


Bringing the Arts to Celina The City of Celina has engaged Keen Independent to create a Fine Arts Master Plan, which will be designed to guide the City’s strategic planning efforts and define its role in supporting arts and culture. Keen Independent will conduct a needs assessment of arts and cultural programming, analyze preferred themes and locations for public art and review guidelines for creating a Public Art Policy and art evaluation criteria.

WE WANT YOUR INPUT! To best serve the Celina community, Keen Independent welcomes rigorous public participation throughout the study. The study team requests that Celina residents attend a public meeting. Food and beverages will be served

MEETING INFORMATION Location: Celina City Council Chambers, 112 North Colorado Street Date: November 16, 2022 Time: 6:00 to 8:00 PM Community members may also participate in an ongoing virtual workshop. Similar in format to a survey, the virtual workshop takes about 10 to 15 minutes to complete via the QR code from November 14, 2022 until December 7, 2022.



Visiting the study website: Emailing the study team:

Life Connected. Magazine | November - December 2022

Life Connected. Magazine | November - December 2022


142 N. Ohio St, Celina, TX 75009 Email: Website: