HJ - Playground Structure Ribbon Cutting

People gather to celebrate the official grand opening Wednesday, June 26, of the new playground equipment at City Park. The new toys feature slides and other traditional playground amenities. The project, estimated at $257,000, was the recipient of several grants and donations. Clarinda Chamber of Commerce sponsored the reception. (Herald-Journal photo by Kent Dinnebier)

Amidst the morning showers Wednesday, June 26, a ribbon cutting ceremony was held at Clarinda City Park for the new playground structure.

The new structure replaced the wooden fort near the brick restrooms that was removed from the park approximately two years ago. The new play structure was purchased from Fry & Associates, Inc., of Kansas City, Missouri.

“The new equipment was installed in the same area where the fort was and is connected to the trail. We also installed surfacing to make the area around each structure handicap accessible so people can go out to each structure,” Clarinda Parks and Recreation Director Jebb Fish said.

The structure features several slides including a taller area for older children to enjoy. There is also a specific area for children between the ages of 2 and 5, which includes a covered wagon with a slide. Other features are new swings, including a larger handicap accessible swing, and a sit-down merry-go-round.

The Clarinda City Council approved its final contribution of $80,000 to the project during its meeting Wednesday night. The Clarinda Public Works Department also provided $20,000 of in-kind services during the project.

Clarinda City Manager Gary McClarnon informed the city council the total cost of the project, including the structure and surfacing, was calculated to be $257,066.68. McClarnon said that price could raise some if any late invoices were received.

The city council previously agreed to pay for the installation of rubberized matting to serve as the base of the structure. The matting was used rather than woodchips to provide added safety for the children and to make the structure more accessible for all users.

The cost of installing the rubberized matting was $103,621.06. Work on the installation of the surface was completed during the week of June 17.

In addition, the council had pledged $25,000 during the early stages of the project. Combined with the cost of the surfacing, McClarnon said the total cost to the city would have been a little more than $128,000.

“Jebb was able to get some more donations and some more grants, which brought that dollar amount down,” McClarnon said. “We decided that $80,000 should finish us up on the project.”

Donations to the project were routed through the Clarinda Foundation. In addition, the Clarinda Foundation and the Clarinda Youth Corporation each awarded a grant of $25,000 to the project.

Once $25,000 in private donations was raised, each organization then contributed an additional $25,000. Among the private donors was PCSB, which contributed $12,500.

Other grants received for the project included $25,000 from the Page County Foundation and $10,000 from the Charles Hockenberry Foundation.

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