The Lake Wichita Revitalization Project got a major shot in the arm today as the Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission approved a $500,000 grant for the project.

Project volunteers gathered at McBride’s on Maplewood this morning for a ‘watch party’ as the commission meeting was live streamed to a television in the main dining room.

The crowd burst into cheers of excitement as the commission approved the funding. The total dollars that have been raised for the project now exceeds $1million.

The complete project will see a beach area, boardwalk, restaurants, shops, boating activities and much more develop around the lake over the coming years. The fundraising goal is around $40 million.

A major step in the project will be the deepening of the lake itself, taking the nominal depth from its current 3 feet to nearly 10 feet. The Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission is reviewing other grants for the project as well.

See some of the designs for the new Lake Wichita below.