Council approves purchase for Ryder Park playground equipment

The playground will join a growing list of Nebraska Cities with an inclusive playground.
The playground will join a growing list of Nebraska Cities with an inclusive playground.(city of grand island)
Published: Jan. 25, 2023 at 12:07 PM CST
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GRAND ISLAND, Neb. (KSNB) - The new inclusive playground planned in Grand Island took another step forward.

During Tuesday’s city council meeting, council members approved the purchase of the playground equipment that will be set up at Ryder Park.

The project is the brain child of occupational therapy students and staff at Central Community College.

The new playground is designed to be handicap accessible and serve children with a wide range of ability levels.

Parks and Recreation Director Todd McCoy said to keep on track, the city needs to approve the purchase of the equipment for $1,236,356 from Creative Sites of Omaha.

The playground will be completely funded with private donations. Part of the fundraising plan is to include a $250,000 endowment to cover annual cost maintenance of the equipment.

Council member Chuck Haase pulled the item of the consent agenda, saying this is something the community needs to hear about and be proud of.

“This is a great thing to see come to fruition,” Haase said. “This has been a good project to come forward in a park that will be used by many, many people at Ryder Park.”

Council member Mitch Nickerson did question what would happen if the CCC Foundation was unable to get the total amount to cover the cost.

McCoy said that in his latest verbal update from them, they had $1.1 million in cash and pledges.

He said they are confident they will be able to have the donations needed to cover the cost, but if not, they have an agreement with the city for a line of credit.

The goal would be to start working on the project in mid-July 2023 with an estimated 9 to 12 weeks of construction.

The City-funded Ryder Park bathroom project will tentatively be completed in July and the parking lot improvement will be planned for November 2023 completion.