Bangor Parks and Rec building outdoor play area

A Bangor Public Works Department equipment operator drives a John Deere bulldozer while leveling an open area behind the former Bangor Armory in early December. The project also involved the Bangor Parks and Recreation Department, which is building an outdoor play area behind the armory.
A Bangor Public Works Department equipment operator drives a John Deere bulldozer while leveling an open area behind the former Bangor Armory in early December. The project also involved the Bangor Parks and Recreation Department, which is building an outdoor play area behind the armory.
Posted Jan. 02, 2013, at 9:58 a.m.

BANGOR — For those wondering about the construction equipment behind the Bangor Parks and Recreation Department building over the past few weeks, there’s a simple explanation:

Like most parents, the department staffers just want to get children outside to play.

For its Kids Cave before- and after-school program, staffers use many of the spaces in the former armory, which the recreation department took over in the mid-1990s.

Deb Jandreau, assistant recreation director, explained that the department is looking to expand outdoors so that the 60 children in the program and others will have additional playspace.

The project on the 1- to 1.5-acre property is a joint effort between the rec department and the city’s Department of Public Works.

“We’ve wanted to start to clean up our area around here,” said Tracy Willette, the director of Parks & Recreation. “We removed an old metal building and most of a chain-link fence. We cleaned out the overgrown brush and leveled it off. This will create an open green space for kids to play outdoors.”

“This will get them away from the parking lot and the roads,” said Jandreau.

After doing the grading, Bangor Public Works will return in the spring to seed the space and create a path to it.

But the area will be put to use before that, Willette said.

“Once we get snow, they’ll be able to use it for all kinds of things,” he said.

Willette sees the project as one way to exploit the untapped potential of the 3- to 4-acre armory site. “We’re making use of a resource we have while cleaning it up a little bit and aesthetically improving the appearance,” he said. “It’s a win-win for everybody.”

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