FOLEY – A new Kids Park should be open in Foley by summer to replace the playground that has served a generation of children.
The original park at Max Griffin Park closed Monday, Feb. 27 to allow work to begin, David Thompson, executive director of leisure services, said.
“We’re going to take as much of it apart as we can and put it to other uses,” Thompson said. “The slides and swings will be taken down and used in other locations.”
Thompson said the tubes that children have crawled through over the years will be sent to the Foley Fire Department. Firefighters will use the spaces to train for moving through enclosed areas during drills.
Thompson said the animal figures that now decorate the original park will be taken down, refurbished and also moved.
Mayor Ralph Hellmich said residents can follow the progress of work building the new park.
“We are going to have a live camera posted up there where people can watch the construction of the Kids Park,” Hellmich said. “It will take about 90 days. We hope to be done before the kids get out of school, which I think will occur. Then we’ll have a grand opening. We’ll tell all the kids about it, but that’s kind of fun.”
Thompson said the cameras are not in operation yet. He said officials cut power to the site while demolition of the old park was going on.
The Foley Kids Park was built in 2001. Thompson said the wooden facility was intended to last about 15 years. Now, after more than two decades in the Gulf Coast weather, the new facility will be going up.
He said work will start in March on the new park and the facility is scheduled to be completed in about 12 weeks.
Thompson said local children were asked to vote on the design of the park.
“The kids voted on it and selected the design,” Thompson said. “They picked a nature theme. We had over 2,000 votes and this is what they selected, so we had a very good representation.”