Sue Watson (left), president of the Kiwanis Club of Tryon, recently presented a check for $1,500 to Patty Alred (right), Polk County Recreation director. This money was used to help install the new playground equipment, purchased by the county, outside of Stearns in Columbus. See page 5. (photo submitted)

Archived Story

New playground equipment installed at Stearns

Published 4:46pm Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Welcoming new playground equipment was installed at Stearns Park recently to replace old slides, swings and ladders deemed “a danger to children” back in November 2011.

Polk County Recreation Director Patty Aldred said crews completed installation in November.

“I’m so glad that it is finally done,” Aldred said. “The old playground that was there was just in disrepair. I’m so thankful to have the new equipment in place; we certainly use it but it’s also used by the community too and is a great asset right there in town.”

The playground is used throughout the year by Polk County recreation’s after-school program, which currently serves about 25 students, and the summer camp, which serves about 80 children.

To save money on the upgrades, the county’s maintenance department was able to salvage a portion of playground equipment available at the old Carolina Classical School building.

Aldred said the new playground cost about $6,000. Around $3,000 was budgeted from the county, while Aldred said she found the rest of the money from other places in the rec department’s budget and from a $1,500 contribution provided by the Kiwanis Club of Tryon.

Updates to the playground, as well as to the gymnasium at Stearns, are all part of an effort by the recreation board and county to improve opportunities for play throughout the county.

County commissioners back in October 2012 also approved the use of $6,000 from the county’s contingency fund to pay for Isothermal Community Planning and Development to create a recreation master plan.

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