Work to install new playground equipment at Riverside Park in Mount Airy is wrapping up so the fun can begin after a ribbon-cutting event is held there Friday.
“We’re excited to be getting it back open and seeing kids playing in that space,” city Parks and Recreation Director Catrina Alexander said Tuesday of the playground that has been closed for much of this month while the work progressed.
The public is invited to Friday’s ribbon-cutting ceremony for the revamped facility, which is scheduled to begin at 9 a.m.
It will include Mayor David Rowe; city Commissioners Shirley Brinkley, Dean Brown and Steve Yokeley; City Manager Barbara Jones; and others.
In addition to remarks by officials, there will be music provided by a DJ (of B-Dazzle Productions). “And we’ll have a Girl Scout troop coming to do some face painting,” Alexander said.
“I think it will be a nice little event.”
Work on the $105,427 playground project has involved dismantling wooden components from an original “Build a Dream” facility developed about 12 years ago and replacing those with colorful new equipment supplied by a Georgia company, along with much site preparation.
Crews were working busily Tuesday to further prepare the playground for Friday’s ribbon cutting.
“I’m sure we’ll have some finishing touches to do,” Alexander said of tasks that will remain afterward.
The parks and recreation director credited a team effort for the project coming together.
“I would say we had a lot of partners on the project,” Alexander said, who have been aided by “great weather” for much of this month to allow Friday’s ribbon cutting.
“And we’re looking forward to it,” she said, with that enthusiasm also apparent among community members who have watched the new playground take shape.
“We’ve had a lot of positive feedback from people who have been by.”
Alexander said much credit is due to local residents who launched the Build a Dream playground and laid the foundation for generations of local kids to enjoy the space at Riverside Park.
The passing of years and the deterioration of some of the original wooden play stations created safety and maintenance problems and Alexander said the replacement project was an investment “to create a safer space.”
Some of the items from the former playground have been salvaged, including a replica of the clock tower from Mount Airy Museum of Regional History. Similar to that at the museum, the one at the playground loomed over other components.
“We are going to continue working on restoring that tower,” Alexander said. “That’s been our goal.”
Mayor Rowe referred to the Build a Dream playground Tuesday and the massive community effort which brought it about, indicating that a lot of fond feelings and nostalgia remain in the wake of the project.
But the city is ready to welcome the replacement facility, the mayor said.
“The kids will enjoy it, and that’s the main thing.”
Tom Joyce may be reached at 336-415-4693 or on Twitter @Me_Reporter.