Ancient wading pool will become a new spray park
The Groff Park $1 million renovation project -- including the first spray park in town, an additional handicapped accessible pavilion and new playground equipment -- is half way home after last night's Community Preservation Act Committee voted to recommend to Town Meeting the $550,000 in funding after they whittled it down a bit from $600,000.
New playground equipment will be part of phase 2
CPAC Member Jim Brissette gave an impassioned defense of the proposal pointing out how it was really a Social Justice issue. The town does more than any other surrounding town to encourage and attract low income housing but doesn't do nearly as much for the children who inevitably result from that type of housing.
For many residents of the apartment complexes along East Hadley Road, Groff Park is one of their very few -- possibly only -- options to cool off in the summer.
Assistant Town Mgr Dave Ziomek presenting to CPAC. Chair Mary Streeter (left)
Assistant Town Manager Dave Ziomek said that amount ($550K) would guarantee construction/renovation of the new spray park to replace the 60 year old wading pool, improved handicapped accessible walkways and a new roof on the old pavilion.
Roof probably should have been replaced a long time ago
Old but still functional equipment near river will remain
The town will apply for a PARC grant to try to secure the second half of the financing although the CPA vote for the $550,000 was not contingent on grant approval.
So either way, BIG improvements coming to our little park.