The Edmond Sun

July 19, 2013

Rotary donates funds for playground at new park

James Coburn
The Edmond Sun

EDMOND — Edmond Rotary Club member Jay Buxton presented a humanitarian grant by the club for a children’s playground to be placed at the $5.3 million Edmond Softball Complex at Route 66 Park.

Route 66 Park is located a quarter mile east of Post Road and State Highway 66. Construction of the park is expected to finish in September, said Craig Dishman, director of Edmond Parks and Recreation.

“When somebody is sitting in the stands they can watch the children play,” Buxton said.

The playground will be placed east of the four softball fields, Buxton said. Playground safety will determine the exact location for the project. The playground will be in an area that is free of home run balls that could hit children, Dishman said.

The City of Edmond will be installing a soft turf for the playground. Edmond-based Noah’s Park and Playgrounds will be supplying the playground.

The Edmond Rotary Club has worked for more than three years to raise nearly $50,000 of funds to help construct a playground at the park, Buxton said. The city’s total cost for the playground is $250,000. The parks’ tax budget has $100,000 to apply to the playground turf.

“Around the square will be sidewalks. You’ll be able to walk up to the playground,” Dishman said.

While serving on the Capital Projects and Financing Task Force, Buxton learned the project included a children’s playground. He began a fundraising effort with other Edmond Rotarians to bring the playground to fruition.

Fortaleza-Planalto Rotary in Brazil agreed to be an international fundraising partner with Edmond Rotary. Rotary International has provided additional funds. Buxton said that the Fortaleza-Planalto Rotary became a partner after the Edmond Rotary helped the Brazilian company purchase a van.

Future plans include the installation of four more ball fields at an unspecified date, according to the city. The city purchased the park property in 2007 for $1.5 million with money from the city’s 3/4-cent permanent sales tax approved by voters in December 2000 for capital improvements. | 341-2121