Public playground construction needs volunteers

Posted June 22, 2011, at 4:59 p.m.

ST. ALBANS, Maine — A two-year effort to revive a public playground in St. Albans will culminate next month, but volunteers are needed to install the elaborate new equipment when it arrives.

Town Manager Rhonda Stark said a $25,000 grant from the Maine Department of Conservation earlier this year jump-started the process. In addition to the grant, volunteers have raised more than $18,000 to provide a high-quality play area for children.

The C.A. Batchelder playground at the intersection of Route 152 and Mason Corner Road was once the site of a school, but the only sign of those days is an outdated swing set and small climbing apparatus.

The new equipment includes one structure for children ages 2-5 and another for ages 5-12. Stark said money in hand will pay for the new equipment and that local businesses, including Snowmans Oil and Soil of St. Albans and Hardwood Products Co. of Guilford, have donated fill, labor and wood chips. Donations are still being collected for more improvements to the area, including rehabilitating a nearby basketball court, building an ice skating rink and creating a walking trail around adjacent baseball and softball fields.

“The plan is for more than a playground,” Stark has told the Bangor Daily News. “We’ve been saying we want something for ages 2-92.”

The equipment will be delivered around July 20 and volunteers are being sought to put it together July 29 through 31. Stark said volunteers should call the town office at 938-4568 to schedule when they’d like to work. Anyone with construction or other useful experience will be greatly appreciated, said Stark. A representative of New England Recreation Group, who is selling the equipment to the town, will be present to oversee the project.

Donations can be sent to 7 Water St., St. Albans 04971. Checks should be made payable to “Town of St. Albans” with “Playground fund” in the memo line.

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