Kids in Soda Springs could have a new place to play soon. Some community members are working on building a new playground and splash pad.
The new playground would be built at the city park. Some of the older equipment from the existing playground would be removed to make way for the new playground. But there’s a lot of work to be done before construction can begin.
Ziplines, trampolines and tunnels were all some of the ideas kids pitched in stage one, which was designing the playground.
Monkey bars, twisty slides and swings were also very popular among the kids. Kids in kindergarten through 4th grade at Thurkill Elementary in Soda Springs met with the designer for the project on Thursday and gave him ideas on what they would like to see on their new playground.
The designer is part of a playground design company in New York. It’s the same company who designed Brooklyn’s Playground in Pocatello.
Committee members said it’s important the kids have a voice in what the playground looks like because it will be them who will be playing on it.
Committee members say it’s important to them that the playground be for all ages and abilities.
One thing they would like to see is a playground that’s safe and accessible for younger toddlers to play on.
They also want a playground that’s ADA compatible, since none of the current playground’s equipment is.
Georgia Brown, who is one of the coordinators for the project, said the committee had a lot of personal inspiration to start this project.
“There’s a little boy in our community who has prosthetic legs and he has to be in a wheelchair,” Brown said. “We saw him one time just sitting next to the playground and just crying because he couldn’t play with the kids in his wheelchair and that honestly breaks your heart.”
Even though the committee said the playground will be great, it’s also going to be costly. The playground could cost anywhere from $150-$200,000 and the splash pad that goes with it could cost another $50-$100,000. But the committee said they’re up to the task and they hope they can raise enough money.
“We’re really, really hoping that we’re successful and I mean, we’ve got the ambition to get this done,” Brown said.
Currently, the committee has raised about $5,000. They will be holding another fundraiser at Thurkill Elementary School Thursday night starting at 6 p.m. The designer will unveil the first draft of what the playground could look like, based on some of the kids’ ideas.
The committee hopes to have the money raised and start building the playground within the next year.
Though the committee still needs money for the playground, a few other costs have been covered already. All costs to bring the designer in, and all other costs for Design Day, were covered by a $3,100 donation from Todd Hunzeker.
He said he’s happy to contribute and he thinks it benefits both the kids and the parents.
“Oh it’ll be wonderful,” Hunzeker said. “It’s a great thing for Soda Springs. I mean, it’s a great thing.”