Photo by Danny Fulgencio

The Dallas parks department, along with all the others under the umbrella of “quality of life,” took severe budget cuts in 2008.

Now that the city is working with its biggest budget in history — $2.81 billion — Parks and Recreation would receive a $3.2 million increase in the proposed 2014-2015 proposed budget. Some of that money would go toward increasing hours at rec centers.

The Churchill Recreation Center is one of several that would be open until 5 p.m. on Saturdays instead of closing at 2. Churchill’s proposed new hours are 8 a.m.-9 p.m. Monday-Thursday, 2-7 p.m. Friday and 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday. The Walnut Hill Recreation Center also would have those hours.

The Marcus and Fretz recreation centers would be open 9 a.m.-9 p.m. Monday-Thursday, 2:30-6:30 p.m. Friday and 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday.

Parks department chief Willis Winters told City Council last week that the department learned to do more with less after the budget cuts. Each rec center director is in charge of two centers, for example.

Winters also found $35,000 in the budget to provide wireless internet service to all rec centers that didn’t already have it.

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