Normal council approves more accessible playground

Local News

NORMAL, Ill. (WMBD) — A 20-year-old Normal park is getting a makeover and will feature equipment on its playground that allows all kids a chance to play.

Monday night, Normal town council approved unanimously a motion to spend $179,963.29 to replace the playground equipment at Carden Park. Town staff said the equipment was set to be replaced and wanted the process sped up as a way to save money.

According to town staff, $63,117.48 will be paid for using a grant from the manufacturer of the equipment.

The new equipment is designed in a way that allows both kids with or without physical or developmental disabilities a chance to play together on slides and other park fun. In May, council heard those concerns from Unit 5 school district students who frequent the park.

Staff said the park is one of its “most-used” playground sets.

Councilmember Kevin McCarthy said its great to replace the aging equipment with a set that will allow even kids in wheelchairs a chance to play.

The current equipment has been at the park since 2001.

“Investing in an old playground that the equipment was long in the tooth and needed to be replaced, so when we had the opportunity to replace it that we replaced it with equipment that provides for children with developmental needs or accessibility needs as well as able-bodied folks,” McCarthy said.

With Monday’s vote, council sped up the process to purchase the equipment before prices rise in January. Parks staff is expected to install it next summer.

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