YMCA to install #036;80,000 playground

Published 12:00 am Saturday, April 23, 2005

The Greenville YMCA wants all able-bodied men and women to help with construction of a special playground the first weekend in June.

The playground, created by Playworld, will accommodate 81 children playing at the same time and will cover over 6,300 square feet.

According to Amanda Phillips, YMCA executive director, the &uot;Y&uot; will purchase the playground equipment with funds from a grant by the Daniel Foundation of Birmingham.

The foundation is philanthropic organization formed by the late Fran Daniel Branum’s family.

The Butler County United Fund will donate the other funds for the project.

&uot;The original plans were to put $80,000 into one playground,&uot; Phillips said.

&uot;But we have recently found out that we have to have a separate playground for our licensed daycare program.&uot;

So they will have one playground for use by the daycare children and one municipal playground for use by anyone.

Yes, that means anyone who wishes to use the playground may do so.

The fixtures for the new play area that includes five slides, overhead handlebars, swings, a fort, a rock-climbing wall just to name a few.

The large playground will cost approximately $50,000 while the smaller one behind the YMCA building will cost about $20,000.

&uot;Those will be built using the Daniel Foundation grant,&uot; Phillips said.

&uot;The Butler County United Fund will give its last $10,000 in January and we’ll use it on the playground.&uot;

She said the playground equipment shipped on Thursday and should arrive in Greenville this coming Friday.

Once it gets here, they need help assembling it.

&uot;We want to have a community volunteer effort build for this playground,&uot; she said.

&uot;It will be a supervised building so we’ll know what we’re doing.&uot;

Wayne Walters, who travels throughout the country constructing playgrounds, will be on site to make sure everything goes as plan.

He should know something about that; he has been working on this type of project for the last 12 years.

However, this playground is special to him, because he lives here.

&uot;I live in Greenville but travel around putting these things together,&uot; he said.

&uot;So it’s a real pleasure for me to stay home and build one.

I don’t get that opportunity too often.&uot;

He said the sense of pride in community involvement and a sense of ownership will be something the volunteers will remember always.

&uot;Everybody who participates will feel a sense of ownership in that playground,&uot; he said.

&uot;Projects like this tend to bring a community together.&uot;

Another important aspect of unity in this playground is that will be ADA accessible.

Playworld Systems is a world leader in both setting as well as meeting the standards by which all playground equipment manufacturers are judged.

Since 1991, Playworld Systems has offered the most comprehensive Accessibility Program within the industry, to help people plan access into their play spaces. Focusing on a child’s development by providing fun, stimulating and age-appropriate activities for all children has always been a goal of Playworld Systems. As a result of the dedication, Playworld Systems has taken the lead by offering more accessible playground activities and design solutions than any other manufacturer, both on play systems and as independent activities.

Phillips said the plans call for the build to take place on June 4-5 and work will begin that Saturday morning at 7 a.m.

Lunch will provided for the volunteers as well as a variety of cold drinks.

Also, for those who claim they don’t have a babysitter, that won’t work that weekend.

The YMCA will hold free childcare for volunteers during the build.

Phillips and Walters agree that you don’t have to have construction experience for this project, just a will to help.

If you would like more information on this project or to sign up to volunteer, call 382-0550 today.