Playground in line for new restrooms

Published 6:00 am Monday, November 7, 2005

Kids’ Kingdom and Brookhaven officials continue efforts toimprove the community playground, with a donor acknowledgment signnow in place and plans for a restroom facility well under way.

Brookhaven Recreation Department Director Terry Reid said heexpects construction of the restroom facility to begin in the nearfuture after some details are worked out with the Kids’ KingdomFoundation. Since the playground off Industrial Park Road is in aflood plain, officials were awaiting approval of plans by the U.S.Army Corps of Engineers.

“We have all that resolved,” Reid said.

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Since the Corps is concentrating its efforts on post-HurricaneKatrina activities, Reid said the Corps passed the playground planreview to the Lincoln County Health Department. That departmentraised no objections and plans were also reviewed by the BrookhavenWater Department and city’s Building Inspector, Reid said.

Reid said the restrooms will be built three feet off the groundin the southeastern portion of playground near one of thepavilions. A slab will add another four inches in height in aneffort to keep the facilities above the flood plain.

Portable restrooms are currently being used at the playground,which opened in 2002. Kids’ Kingdom officials said the morepermanent restroom structure will be a welcome alternative.

“I think it is much needed out there and will add a lot of valueto the park,” said Foundation President Emily Henderson, adding therestroom facility will likely increase use of the park for parties,reunions and other functions.

The restroom facility was originally estimated at $12,000.However, Reid expected costs to be higher due to increased demandfor building materials following the recent hurricanes.

“There’s no doubt it will be,” Reid said.

Some funds for the restrooms remained after the initialconstruction of the playground. Officials, though, pursues otherfund-raising efforts.

Henderson said a summer campaign raised over $1,000. In theproject, change jars were placed at Cracker Barrel stores and atBroma’s.

In other playground activity, a sign acknowledging donations tothe project has been erected at the park.

“That sign is something we’ve wanted to do for quite some time,”Henderson said. “We’re really pleased it’s up.”

Henderson said officials waited until landscaping was completedbefore erecting the sign. She expressed appreciation to LincolnCounty Master Gardeners for their help in landscaping and inmaintaining the park.

“It really has made a difference at the park,” Hendersonsaid.