At its virtual meeting on Tuesday night, the Auburn City Council approved two contracts that will bring an inclusive, ADA-compliant playground to Town Creek Park.
The Council approved a contract with D&J Enterprises for the construction of the playground, with an approved bid of nearly $2 million. The Council also approved the purchase of over $1.95 million in playground equipment from Miracle Recreation Equipment Co.
Council members, including Mayor Ron Anders, voiced their excitement for the new playground.
"It's a great moment for Auburn," said Anders.
The playground will be located at the intersection of Wrights Mill Road and Camellia Drive across from Wrights Mill Elementary School in Auburn.
“I am super excited to see what this park has in store,” said Councilman Steven Dixon. “I think the children of Auburn will really love and enjoy this addition to Parks and Recs.”
Becky Richardson, director of Auburn Parks and Recreation, stated that the addition of the playground is mainly to serve children in the Auburn community within different groups.
“We will have so much equipment that’s tailored to all children in Auburn,” Richardson said. “There will be equipment for autistic children, deaf or blind children and families with multiple children to enjoy together in one place.
“We are really excited to bring this to the community.”
According to Richardson, design became one of the key elements in creating the architectural plans for this project.
“One of the things we looked at in doing the design on this was to have different pods of equipment.,” Richardson said. “Each pod will have different equipment that will fit different children with various physical needs.
“It’s something that the whole family and their friends can enjoy. In addition, there will be exercise equipment that older children and their parents can enjoy while visiting the park as well.”
The new playground is slated to begin construction in the coming weeks.
“I can’t wait for the day that children, parents and their families will be able to play at this park,” said Anders. “I highly encourage members of the community to check our web page for more information and renderings of what the park is going to look like.”
While discussing other topics on this week’s agenda, council members also extended well wishes to former City Manager James Buston during his final meeting with the Auburn City Council.
Buston, who has worked with the city of Auburn for more than 25 years, was appointed as city manager in 2017 after 11 years as the assistant city manager. The Council has already approved Assistant City Manager Megan McGowen Crouch to take over the position Feb. 1.
“Jim has been a great support to a new mayor and this community,” Anders said, “The city of Auburn will miss him and we are truly thankful for his dedication for the last 25 years.”
According to Councilwoman Beth Witten, Buston’s wisdom will be missed the most.
“I hope we can maintain communication with Jim afterwards, even though I know he said he was done.” Witten said. “I hope that didn't mean 'done done.'
“He stepped up during a time of transition and probably stayed longer than he agreed, and I know he thoroughly prepared the new manager to be great.”
For more information about the Jan. 19 meeting, residents can watch the meeting and other previous meetings via YouTube and Facebook. The council has voted in favor of continuing meetings via Zoom for the Feb. 3 meeting.