This project was originally started in order to refurbish the existing YMCA playground. At subsequent meetings with the YMCA staff, it was decided that in order to meet legal requirements and the needs of the community served by the YMCA, the project's scope would have to be expanded to replacing the entire playground with two, age appropriate, handicapped accessible playgrounds rather than refurbishing the old playground. That was in Spring/Summer of 2005.
After I researched playgrounds and costs, I chose two age appropriate and handicapped accessible playgrounds that met the needs of the YMCA and complied with legal regulations. The budget for the entire project was initially estimated to be around $34,000. However, due to unexpected expenses, the actual costs ultimately totaled approximately $42,000.00.
In order to raise the money for such a massive project, I applied for grants from various organizations and wrote over 600 letters to individuals and companies in my area asking for donations. It took about sixteen months to raise enough money to purchase the playground and the specialized, handicapped accessible surface.
Before the installation could begin, the old playground was removed. I organized boy scouts from Troop 40 (my home troop) who removed the old playground’s surface. I met with a local engineering firm and construction firm who generously donated the time, labor and materials to finalize the surface preparations. The new subsurface had to meet tight specifications before the handicapped accessible surface could be installed.
Once the subsurface was prepared, I organized volunteers to help with the actual installation of the two playgrounds. It took me and about 15 people two days to assemble, install, and set the playground. About three our four days later, the surfacing installers from GameTime (the playground company) arrived and set the rubber surfacing. The City of Clarksburg then provided employees to finalize and complete the landscaping around the two playgrounds, allowing us to hold a dedication ceremony on June 21, 2007.