Work Set to Begin on Jaycee Playground
St. Charles Parks Department has begun actively fundraising for the accessible playground.
The parks department will do much of the work in house, said Chris Atkinson, Assistant Director of Parks and Recreation.
The first step is to move dirt on the site and build retaining walls to hold the playground in place, Atkinson said. The dirt is being moved from the hill at the park that leads down to the St. Charles Fire Station.
The hill is often used for sledding in the winter. Atkinson said after the dirt is moved, the hill should be even better for sledding in the future.
"It may be a dirt hill for this winter, which is obviously not ideal, but that's the situation we're dealing with," he said, adding that it didn't make sense to try to plant grass on the hill in November.
By the end of 2011, residents should be able to get a sense for how the playground will lay out, he said. The playground will have elements that allow children of all abilities to play, such as rubberized surfaces and wide ramps which wheelchairs can negotiate.
Right now, parks officials are actively looking for donations for the all-inclusive playground at Jaycee Park. Officials have started meeting with various groups like the Kiwanis Club, seeking donations.
The new all-inclusive playground costs about $800,000 to build. The St. Charles Parks Department has about $500,000 between funding from the city and from Unlimited Play, a group that has helped raise money for all-inclusive playgrounds in Clayton, O'Fallon and Lake Saint Louis.
Atkinson said the department probably won't do a big, formal ground breaking for the project, which is expected to be completed in Spring 2012.
"I'm really excited they're getting ready to start on it," said St. Charles City Council Member Bridget Ohmes, Ward 10.