GRAFTON— In an effort to supply the children and families of Grafton and Taylor County with a safe and welcoming space to play and picnic, the City of Grafton continues to make some much needed improvements and additions to Central Playground.
Located between Knotts Ave. and Wilford St., the playground sits on what was once the site of the Old Central School, which was built in the 1870’s. By 1926 the school was closed by the superintendent, who considered the old building unsafe for students, and was ultimately demolished.
Some years later, the empty lot became Central Playground becoming a popular meeting place for the youths of Grafton.
According to Grafton City Manager Kevin Stead, the lot has been utilized as a playground for more than 40 years, and over those years, has gone through several transformations.
In 2013, the city noticed the equipment on the grounds was showing severe signs of wear and was no longer safe for the community’s youth.
The hazardous equipment was removed, and in early 2016, the city approved the purchase of new playground equipment from Miracle Playground Equipment.
In the fall of 2016, crews installed a colorful playhouse, that featured three brand new slides.
Additionally, that same year, the park’s basketball courts were repaved and new goals were added.
At that time, Stead shared that the resurfaced basketball courts had already began attracting more kids to the playground, and noted that additional improvement plans for the area were in the works.
Earlier this week, some of those improvement plans finally came to fruition.
Stead revealed that the playground is now home to two picnic tables, which rest atop a newly poured concrete pad and are shaded by a recently installed canopy, providing the perfect location for a family picnic right in your own neighborhood.
“It’s another very nice addition to one of our local parks,” Stead commented. “We hope the community takes advantage of the space and also does their part in keeping the playground clean and safe for children and residents to enjoy for years to come.”
While the tables and shelter are great additions to the park, the city is working even further to develop the space, as they are planning to install a charcoal grill, as well as lighting fixtures.
“Our parks and playgrounds supply the young kids and families of the community with safe places to enjoy some time outdoors. If we can continue to upkeep these areas, it just might keep our kids from hanging out in less desirable locations,” voiced Stead.