March 14, 2018 - State Senator Andy Dinniman this week announced that he successfully secured $25,000 in state funding for the development of an all-ability playground in Phoenixville’s Reeves Park.
The new playground is a joint effort of the Borough of Phoenixville, the Phoenixville Jaycees, and the Kiwanis Club of Phoenixville. The goal is to replace the existing playground with one that can be enjoyed by children, adolescents, and parents of all abilities, including those with physical and sensory challenges, so that all can interact, play, and learn together.
Dinniman announced the funding, which comes through the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development, at Tuesday’s Phoenixville Borough Council meeting.
Phoenixville Kiwanis' 9th Annual
Auction and Spaghetti Dinner
held March 10, 2018
raised $23,500 for All Ability Playground!
WHAT IS THE ALL-ABILITY PLAYGROUND?
The Kiwanis Club of Phoenixville and the Phoenixville Jaycees are partnering with the Borough of Phoenixville to build an all-ability playground in Reeves Park. Because the nearest such park is located in Downingtown, the Kiwanis believe this is a great need in our community. The goal of the new Reeves Park playground upgrade is to allow children of varying abilities, including physical disabilities and sensory challenges, to interact, play and learn together.
The Kiwanis Club has been working with the Recreation Board as well as the Parks and Recreation Committee since April 2016 to develop a comprehensive plan that will be fun for children of all abilities, will be a good addition to Reeves Park, as well as make the Phoenixville community proud. Melissa Gibbons, Director of the Recreation Department, has been an integral part of the committee, as we work to meet all the specifications of previous playgrounds and Borough streetscapes to fit into Phoenixville. The committee has met with vendors to understand the advantages and pitfalls of a project of this scope. Based on their recommendation, the plan is to remove the existing swings and playground that were erected in the 1990’s. They have served the park well but would be extremely costly to include in the plans for the new playground, as they are not all-ability. In addition, because of their age it is questionable how much longer they could be kept in service. It is the hope of the organizers that the existing playground and swings will not be removed until the new playground is ready to be installed.
The new playground will be located where the current swing set is situated. A new swing set will be incorporated into the new playground. The plan includes a rubberized safety base for wheelchair access as well as a perimeter fence to ensure safety.
The project is planned to be completed in three phases. The first phase will be the actual playground and poured safety base. This will include a play section for 2 to 5-year-olds, as well as a section designed for older children. The equipment will be all-ability pieces. An example of one of the pieces can be seen in the accompanying artist’s rendering. The second phase will be the installation of new restrooms. Two unisex, handicapped-accessible restrooms will replace the existing rest rooms in the bandshell. Both will be entered from the Third Avenue side of the bandshell and will have time-activated locks allowing them to operate during park hours from April till October. The final phase will be the installation of fencing, bike rack, trash receptacles, and other landscaping features.
With a total budget of nearly $400,000, the Kiwanis Club and the Jaycees are implementing multiple avenues of fundraising, including grants, crowdfunding, and other fundraising events to raise awareness of and community support for this much-needed project. Almost $40,000 has been raised to date and many grants are in the works.
Anyone wishing to make a direct donation to the auction for the playground can do so by visiting the Crowdrise site at www.crowdrise.com/PhoenixvilleKiwanisAuction2018
More information about the playground, including additional renderings of the proposed equipment, can be found at: www.phoenixvilleplayground.org.