By Kristin Rover
Batavia residents will soon have a new place for their children to play and enjoy the outdoors at the Batavia Township Community Center.
Batavia Township Trustees approved the purchase of a new playground and picnic shelter for the community center during their Aug. 5 meeting.
Administrator Rex Parsons presented renderings of the playground to trustees, and they discussed pricing and plans for where the playground and picnic shelter will be located.
“We did appropriate some funds to build another playground and picnic shelter this year,” Parsons said during the meeting.
He said the current playground and picnic shelter at the community center are popular, and they have discussed adding a new picnic shelter and playground to a different area of the park for several months.
“The picnic shelter has been reserved 86 times so far this year,” Parsons said. “It is probably the hottest item we take calls for.”
He said the playground has also been popular.
“Build it and they will come,” he said.
Parsons said they built the first playground as part of a Community Build project, where people donated their time to build the playground. He said the picnic shelter was built using Community Development Block Grant funds.
Earlier this year, trustees considered applying for a Nature Works Grant to build the playground or picnic shelter, but instead used the application to apply for a walking trail that will connect more amenities, including the baseball fields, in the park.
Trustees gave Parsons the OK to continue to research playgrounds and picnic shelters for the park since they had appropriated funds to build the amenities this year.
He showed trustees a rendering of the playground, which is a Game Time system created by David Williams and Associates.
“This is much, much bigger than we have now,” Parson said about the playground.
Parsons said the main section of the playground is designed for children ages 5-12 years old, and there is also a smaller area for younger children.
He said the playground design includes multiple slides and easy access areas as well as more difficult climbing areas for older children. The playground also includes a swing area, a safer version of a seesaw, multiple park benches, and umbrellas so residents can sit in the shade.
“It’s a very complete experience,” Parsons said about the design.
He said the total cost for the playground is $60,000.
“This is in our budget,” Parsons said.
Parsons said the new shelter they are looking at would be bigger than the current shelter. He said the current shelter holds 75 people, and the new shelter would hold more than 100.
Parsons said they could look into running electricity to the shelter so that they could have lights in the shelter.
Fiscal officer Jennifer Haley said the shelter would cost approximately $52,000 including labor.
“It would be $120,000 together with the playground and shelter,” Parsons said.
He said they budgeted $105,000 for the amenities and also have $35,000 in the budget for park improvements.
Parsons suggested putting the shelter a little further back on the property and possibly linking it to other areas with the walking trail if they receive the grant.
“We have so many things on our wish list here at the park,” Parsons said
Trustee Jim Sauls suggested laying the property out with the potential amenities to see where the best place would be for the playground and shelter.
Trustees approved the purchase of the playground and picnic shelter, and said agreed to meet again to decide the exact location.