South Greensburg raising money for playground upgrade
A large playground in South Greensburg that has served as a community fixture for decades is in line for a facelift.
“I have a 5-year-old who plays at that playground,” said Jen Detore, a member of the borough recreation board. “It's the same equipment I played on. It's the same equipment my dad played on.”
Detore is spearheading an effort to upgrade the playground on Sheridan Street. The recreation board is raising $200,000 for the project.
Recreation board members aren't sure exactly when the playground was built. It has had occasional, sporadic updates over the decades — a new piece of equipment here, a new coat of paint there. But its age is obvious, Detore said.
The recreation board hopes to overhaul the playground with new equipment to make it modern and compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act.
Modern playground equipment doesn't come cheap, Detore said.
The borough is applying for state grants, which would cover half the cost. An anonymous foundation has committed to match community donations of up to $50,000, which means the recreation board needs to raise the remaining $50,000 to fully fund the project.
Detore estimates more than $20,000 has been raised through sub sales and raffles, and the board launched a GoFundMe campaign this week in the hopes of coming up with the rest.
The project has been in the works for about a year.
The recreation board asked borough kids for their ideas of how to improve the playground. Some of those suggestions will be implemented, like a zip line, Detore said.
“If they feel they've been a part of it, they're going to respect it and help take care of it,” she said.
Most of the old equipment will be removed. Some of it, like a merry-go-round that's been there for as long as anyone can remember, will be moved elsewhere to be preserved as a part of the borough's history, Detore said.
The playground renovation campaign runs concurrently with efforts to improve the adjacent South Greensburg Community Park, but the two projects are unrelated.
The borough park commission is in charge of the park rehabilitation efforts.
Proposed park improvements include pavilion renovations and a walking trail, which would cost around $200,000.
Some of this work has been delayed, in part because commission members didn't want to compete with the recreation board when applying for state grants, commission Chairwoman Deb Muse said.
“We just decided to back off from that this calendar year, and we will try that again next year,” she said. “We're doing what we can without grant money.”
Detore hopes at least some of the new playground equipment will be installed by summer 2019.
“It's the heart of the community,” she said.
Jacob Tierney is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at 724-836-6646, firstname.lastname@example.org or via Twitter @Soolseem.