Dublin Villager

Playground reconstruction

Resident hopes to gather volunteers to help

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LORRIE CECIL/THISWEEKNEWS
The Discovery Playground at 2500 Sutter Parkway has been designated for replacement in 2014. The playground was built in 1992 with the help of community volunteers and neighborhood resident Stephen Kron is hoping to gather community volunteers to help with erecting the new playground.
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By ThisWeek Community News  • 

A long time monument between Olde Sawmill Elementary School and Davis Middle School will be taken down next month.

But, a new playground will rise in its place.

The wooden playground equipment in Olde Sawmill Park will be taken down in December and the Columbus Recreation and Parks Department plans to erect another in its place in 2014.

"A typical lifespan on a playground is 15 to 20 years," said Jeff Anderson, a parks development specialist for the Columbus Recreation and Parks Department.

"It's at the end of its lifespan and that's especially true for a wooden playground like that. It's more susceptible to wood rot."

The playground was built in 1992 with the help of community volunteers.

Neighborhood resident Stephen Kron is hoping to see the community involved as the new playground takes shape.

"I moved into the community in 1990. I wasn't part of construction then, but I felt like I should have been there," he said.

Kron has taken his children and grandchildren to the playground several times and is working to gather a group of residents to fund additional improvements at the playground and help with the building.

"I hope to have teachers and parents from the schools and a couple of people from the community," he said.

"That way we won't have one person run the whole show. It'll be a nice way to get to know our neighbors. This only happens once every 20 years or so."

In addition to getting local residents involved, Kron is hoping the playground could be an Eagle Scout project for a few Boy Scouts.

"I plan on going to the scout center in Columbus to meet with people to understand who the troop leaders are in the area," he said.

"I thought, wouldn't it be cool if you could do something you could take your kids to when you grow up?"

Alan McKnight, director of Columbus Recreation and Parks, said he hasn't spoken with Kron about a community group yet, but it's not unusual to get the community involved.

"We work with a lot of community groups that support parks and will raise funds and put sweat equity into the park," he said.

The playground at Olde Sawmill Park will be one of many the department plans to replace over the next year.

The new playground planned for Olde Sawmill Park will have "different platforms, swings, climbing apparatus," McKnight said.

"There will be the same kind of play elements. It will not match what's there item for item, but we'll try to get equipment in there for different age groups and to challenge the kids.

"We'll try to make it more accessible for kids with special needs."

Until the new playground is in, Kron plans to visit the old one before it disappears. Then he'll spend time gathering a volunteer group. Anyone interested can contact Kron via email at Stephen.kron@ gmail.com.

"I have four children and each of them has spent a lot of time there," Kron said. "I've got grandkids moving to Columbus and I want to take them there."

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