October 21 - 28, 1998

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Neighborhood Children Help Design New Playground

by Kelly Carter

When the architects at Schadler Associates in Farmington got the contract to design a new playground for the Sheldon/Charter Oak neighborhood, they sought advice from the real experts - the kids who will actually be using the structure. Over 50 children submitted drawings of their ideal playgrounds and ideas from those drawings will be used in the structure's final design.

Local businesses and churches, community leaders, and parents contributed to the design of the playscape.

The new structure is scheduled to be built on Saturday, November 7.
The community-wide effort to design and build the playground was organized by the Coalition to Strengthen the Sheldon and Charter Oak Neighborhood (CSSCON) and the Sheldon Oak Central Co-opportunity Incorporation. A CSSCON spokesperson said the new playground will provide a safe and accessible area for parents to spend time with their children.

The playground will be located on a site between two newly renovated housing developments, Twin Acres on Stonington Street and the Martin Luther King Project on Van Block Avenue.

KaBoom, a national non-profit organization, and Home Depot will partly fund the playground. Local businesses have also agreed to help sponsor the event as well and CSSCON's Playground Build Committee has raised $15,000 in matching funds.

The actual construction of the playground on November 7 is scheduled to begin at 7 am and organizers hope to finish by 5 pm. At noon there will be a presentation to thank all those in the community who have helped with the project.

Volunteers are still needed to serve food, donate materials, organize children's activities and help build the playground. This is a community fundraiser and everyone is welcome to bring his or her families. Call Maura McCall at Sheldon Oak Central to volunteer, 246-0666.

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