ST. ALBANS, Maine — Even though some new playground equipment was roped off Monday afternoon, the area will soon be buzzing with area youngsters.
Construction of the public playground in St. Albans is nearing completion, thanks to three days of hard work by volunteers.
“We had about 16 people on Friday, about 30 on Saturday and then another 20 yesterday,” Town Manager Rhonda Stark said Monday.
A $25,000 grant from the Maine Department of Conservation earlier this year got the project off the ground, and volunteers raised about $18,000 more.
Stark said a ribbon-cutting ceremony will be held later this month to mark the opening of the facility, which still needs a little bit of work.
“We’re going to have a fence going around it. Hopefully, we’ll have that settled within the next few days,” said Stark. “The landscaper will be finishing the wood chips in about two weeks.”
The new playground is located at the corner of Route 152 and Mason Corner Road, near Big Indian Lake.
On Monday afternoon, crews were putting concrete around poles that support the play areas. The new equipment includes one play area for youths ages 2-5 and another for those ages 5-12.
“It was a nice community project,” Stark said of efforts to create the new playground. “We had a great group of people come in and help.”
The playground will open just in time for the start of the upcoming school year, so it’s a safe bet the equipment is going to be put to good use once it opens.
“Now there’s something for them to do in the community,” Stark said of local children, “whereas before the parents traveled to Newport or Pittsfield or wherever to take their kids to playgrounds.”
“There’s a lot of day care providers in town that will be able to utilize it,” Stark added.
Over the course of the weekend, the St. Albans Lions Club and the Chatterbox Club, a women’s group in town, provided meals for the volunteers, Stark said.
“We got a little [sun]burned, but it could’ve been thundering and lightning, so we’ll take the burn,” said Stark.
People driving through town over the weekend even showed their enthusiasm.
“Kids would ride by on their bikes to see what was going on, and people were driving by and honking their horns and waving,” Stark said.