Student votes determined design, grant to pay for portion of equipment

The City of Cedartown is planning – likely sometime in the autumn months – to put up a new playground for youth to enjoy at Bert Wood Youth and Athletic Center.

A firm date will be set later this summer and volunteers will be needed to help put everything together, according to City Manager Edward Guzman in an update during the City Commission’s work session on Monday evening, June 7.

“This has seriously been one year in the making now,” Guzman explained. “It’s been nearly a year now since we’ve received the Kaboom! grant for the new playground, and have gone through the guidelines for the grant.”

The hope is that with the help of volunteers, an event can be scheduled sometime in September or October when the weather is cooler and all the parts come in for the playground design that was chosen by students.

Guzman said the city went to classrooms in local elementary schools to get votes on which of a selection of designs provided as options to purchase and build the new playground. Raised hands tallied across the trio of elementary schools in the immediate Cedartown area ultimately came up with the above design for the children who will be playing on it in the future. Those schools included Northside, Westside, and Cherokee Elementary.

“This was the one all the kids overwhelmingly chose,” Guzman said.

Now that it is getting closer to time, Guzman said that city commissioners will be asked next week during their regular June session to approve an upfront price, with grant money reimbursing some of the costs so that construction can move ahead on a time frame for the fall.

Part of the current problems facing the city’s immediate completion of the new playground is a current lack of materials for the equipment to be manufactured. Guzman said he hadn’t yet gotten a firm date of delivery for equipment but is expected to be able to get an answer before the regular session coming up on June 14.

Some additional paperwork, ordering, and planning has to be done before a $15,000 grant from Kaboom!, is applied to help pay the more than $44,000 cost the city will be covering in the coming months.

The $15,000 grant being supplied by the company knocks the city’s price down for just the equipment to closer to $29,000.

That cost doesn’t include the need for concrete and mulch to go down around the new equipment as well. Guzman didn’t expect those costs to be exorbitant.

Of note, the grant does require the city to go through a list of provided vendors for the equipment purchase. Guzman said that with the equipment also comes the assistance of a KABOOM! certified installer who oversees the Build Day and volunteers putting everything together to ensure safety of youth who will play on it in the future.

Construction won’t interfere with fall sports schedules, Guzman added.

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