Dublin Villager

Olde Sawmill neighborhood

Volunteers, children proving input for new playground

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The new playground between Olde Sawmill Elementary School and Davis Middle School will be designed by children.

A group of volunteers from the surrounding Olde Sawmill neighborhood are working to make sure the new playground installed by Columbus will have the input of local children.

Students from Olde Sawmill Elementary and Grandby Elementary School in Worthington got a chance to vote on a name, colors and elements that will replace the wooden play structure at Discovery Playground that was taken down in December.

"The city has taken ideas from the children and made modifications already," said Stephen Kron, an Olde Sawmill resident who is leading the charge to make improvements beyond those planned by the city.

Students voted on a name for the playground, picking Adventure Park over Discovery Park, Dream Park and Pot of Gold Park.

A red, white and blue color scheme was also favored by students in voting.

"Eight kids from the LEAP class at Olde Sawmill Elementary put together charts and pie graphs on how many kids voted for name, color scheme and equipment," Kron said.

Students were given 30 different playground elements to choose from and spinning equipment was a clear favorite, Kron said.

Equipment the nonprofit group hopes to add to the playground Columbus will install ranges in price from $5,369 to $119.

"The total price for everything would be about $76,000," Kron said.

"We don't expect to put them all in, but we want to try to get the most popular things."

The group hopes to raise $60,000.

"If we raise $60,000, we can get a lot of playground elements like a climbing area," Kron said.

Fundraising will be done during the summer and the group is looking for sponsors and corporate donations. Residents can also help improve the playground further by donating time, money or purchasing a brick paver for $100.

Pavers were sold when the original playground was erected in 1992 and Kron said they won't get rid of those bricks.

"We'll set up 1992 bricks on one side and 2014 bricks on another side," Kron said.

A local Boy Scout will complete the paver project to try to achieve Eagle Scout status.

Another Eagle Scout project planned for the park is the addition of benches, Kron said.

"There's lots of room for more," he said. "If any scouts are interested they can contact me."

Columbus was expected to send the playground construction out for bidding this month and a contract could be awarded in June.

"My anticipation is to get something installed by the time school starts," Kron said.

"We intend to have money raised during the summer. We don't have a bidding process.

"We'll just give the money to the city and add to what they have."

The Discovery Playground group doesn't plan to stop efforts once the playground is in, though.

"The group working with me now is not a group that will do this and then be done," Kron said.

"We plan to use this group for the neighborhood to come. We'll raise money with another brick sale, plant trees and then put in some flowers.

"We want it to be a centerpiece of the community."

For more information about the fundraising or other playground efforts, look online at discoveryplayground.net.

The group plans to meet next at 7 p.m. May 20 at the Northwest Library, 2280 Hard Road.

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