District will use grant to refurbish play area

The playground is usable, but in need of a touch up
BOARDMAN -- A Boardman Park play area for kids built by the hands of township residents nearly a decade ago will soon be getting a face-lift.
Park Superintendent Dan Slagle said the park district is set to receive a $60,000 grant from the Mahoning County Solid Waste District's Green Team to refurbish the park's Kid's Town playground section. The total cost of the project is estimated at $130,000.
Kid's Town was built in 1993 with donated material and the help of more than 400 volunteers. At the time, community surveys suggested that residents wanted a new playground facility, but two defeated park levies made purchasing the play area nearly impossible.
Fund-raising: Several fund-raising events took place in 1993 and in October of that year, the 12,000-square-foot play area was put into place. The more than 400 volunteers toiling on the project worked in shifts and completed the play area in less than one week.
Slagle said the play area is still sturdy and can be used by youngsters, but after eight years in the elements and constant use, Slagle says the treated wood parts of the playground need a little touch-up.
"We will mainly focus on the areas where children have a tendency to touch and come in contact," he said.
Slagle said the weather deterioration makes the wood rough and causes splinters, increasing the need for more sanding and sealing. The handrails, decks and picket fences will be the focus of the refurbishing efforts.
Volunteers needed: Just as in 1993, park officials are hoping to defray the labor cost associated with the project by asking community volunteers to come forward and complete the work.
The main difference will be the number of volunteers needed for the refurbishing.
Slagle said less people will be needed than the hundreds used in the building process.
Slagle said the Kid's Town area is one of the more popular sections of the park and heavily used during the warmer months, therefore the upgrades will be done in October. Slagle said October offers decent enough weather to do the work and kids who normally use the area are in school or involved in other activities.
Slagle said the work will take about one week to complete.
Other renovations: Slagle said the park district also will be making renovations to Maag Outdoor Theater and handling exterior repairs of the Boardman Community Center before the end of the year.
The theater will be getting new restrooms and additions made to the structure's rear. There was no cost estimate for those jobs.

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