$30K in 30 Days: Efforts to build Warsaw playground underway

Community groups and town officials are pooling their efforts and resources to ensure that there will be a new attraction in Warsaw this summer for local children to enjoy.

In a press release sent Friday, May 24, the Warsaw Richmond County Main Street Program (WRC MSP) announced plans to build a public playground in the town park through partnerships with the Warsaw Rotary Club, the Warsaw Richmond County Chamber of Commerce, the Richmond County YMCA and the Town of Warsaw.

Rotary club member and planning commissioner Roger Lee said the goal of the partnership was to have the playground “in and operating” before the Fourth of July.

“This is all wishful thinking, but it’s going to go in this summer,” said Lee. “And then we’ll work on the rest of the budget that we’ve got to have to pay for all of this.”

With an estimated budget of $65,000 for playground equipment, both the town and the main street program have each pledged $18,750 to the project.

The partnered groups have sought to raise the remaining $30,000 needed for the initiative through community contributions, with the town agreeing to put up $15,000 in matching funds.

Pat Pugh, executive director of WRC MSP, said they have already received one private contribution for $100.

“We really haven’t solicited yet,” said Pugh, noting her hope that the citizens of the community will donate to the project.

“All of the business, I know will help,” said Pugh. “[But as for] the ones that are really going to be bringing their kids, we would like them to be invested in this too, and to make individual contributions.”

Pugh added that citizens’ donations would be tax-deductible when made to WRC MSP, a 501c3 nonprofit organization.

In addition, the Chamber of Commerce will make a donation to the project while also helping to promote the playground.

In the case that the partnership between the town and community fails to realize $15,000 from citizens during the summer, Pugh said a fundraiser would be held in September.

Pugh added that if WRC MSP raised more than $15,000 in individual contributions or acquired playground equipment at less than the budgeted cost, then they would use the funds accordingly.

“If we purchase the equipment for $50,000, but we’ve already borrowed $65,000, we’re going to add more things, whether it’s a rock-climbing [obstacle], more swings or even trash cans,” said Pugh.

Currently, the anticipated size of the playground in the town park is approximately 52-by-75 square feet.

Pugh said the playing area is expected to consist of at least two slides, four swings with two being made for infants, and climbing obstacles that are similar to monkey bars.

The slides would be handicap accessible, and the playground’s base would be made of rubber mulch.

The parties involved met Monday, June 3 to examine information on playground sets from three different recreational companies: Miracle, All and Cunningham.

Although a decision has not yet been made to determine which company will build the playground, personal interviews have been set up with the candidates on Wednesday, June 5, and Thursday, June 6.

Pugh said their decision would be based on each company’s discussion of their design work and complementary quotes.

With the selection process still ongoing, Pugh emphasized the parties’ motivation to complete the project as soon as possible.

“We want to get the word out there that we’re moving on it,” said Pugh. “It’s happening, and the matter now is just picking a company and running with that.”

Pugh projected a completion period of four to six weeks for the playground.

“All of it is made-to-order,” Pugh said of the equipment. “None of it is sitting on a shelf.”

She noted that WRC MSP would solicit volunteers to help assemble the playground in the park in the days following the production of the equipment.

David Mann, of the chamber of commerce, expressed the involved parties’ excitement over the opportunity to create the playground “sooner than later.”

“It’s something good for the community [and] the town,” said Mann. “And actually people outside [of] Richmond County [and] within the Northern Neck can certainly use this playground.”

Pugh shared Mann’s excitement, admitting that it was a surprise to many in the community that Warsaw does not have a public playground.

“I think it’s very central to our old community,” said Pugh.

For more information or to make a donation, call 804-333-4190 or email wrcmsp@gmail.com.

Posted on Wednesday, June 5, 2013 at 10:06 am