Dan Hoyt
Special to The Gardner News
Conestoga Mobile Home Park on Santa Fe St. has been going through a series of changes in the hopes of rebuilding their image as a friendlier community.
The mobile home park was bought by a Florida company in May, bringing in new employees and new management. Tanya Coffman, manager, was hired to oversee the redesign and has been working for months to overcome the challenges faced by the park, which had a reputation as aged and falling apart.
Coffman said the first order of business was organizing a property-wide cleanup that involved trash pickup, code inspections and improved  landscaping.
“We’ve already removed several of the homes that had become an eyesore for our community. Some of those had fallen into complete disrepair,” she said. There were even a few that had been abandoned, which were an extra challenge for her because she needed to find the owners or go through the city and court system to have the units removed.
In the past few months the park has repaved their roads, removed several trailers, torn down an old farmhouse on the property, and remodeled their clubhouse to include a full kitchen and a meeting space, which residents have begun to use for parties and social events such as baby showers.
“We are still waiting on the final word from the city on some construction projects, but we should have a workout area, some basketball courts and some playground equipment for children to play on,” she said.
While they have been removing homes, they have also been bringing new ones in. Since May Conestoga has brought in 15 new three or four-bedroom homes, with plans to bring in 15 more by the end of the year.
“These are completely new, top-of-the line homes, with full sheet-rock interiors instead of old-school wood paneling,” Coffman said. “We really want our residents to feel like this is their home and they are part of a community.”
Coffman said the emphasis on community is meant to make the new park feel more like a duplex or apartment complex in other parts of the county.
The new homes are three and four bedroom units ranging from $950 to $1,100 a month. There are also options for residents to rent-to-own.