Parks and rec leaders discuss making all-abilities park upgrades

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Published: May. 3, 2022 at 2:42 PM CDT
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NACOGDOCHES, Texas (KTRE) - A new milestone has been passed in the approval phase of the new all-abilities playground at Ritchie Street Park in Nacogdoches. The city council recently unanimously approved a $240,400 contract with playground equipment company GameTime to create the city’s first all-abilities playground.

“From younger generation to older generation, different mobility issues, different vision issues or sound issues to interact and play with one another,” said Brain Bray, Director of Community Services. “So that the purpose of this is so that everyone who visits Nacogdoches can go enjoy the playground and interact with one another.”

Gametime has experience working in east Texas cities. The company is based in Texas and has previously been used by the City of Lufkin. It has also been a go-to for Nacogdoches, as the city used their services on Pecan Park, Pioneer Park and Bonita Creek park.

“One of the benefits of going with a company that is so tested that we have used several times is they are very open when they are talking to the city about how these things will really work,” said Jessica Sowell, Assistant Director Community Services. “These things might not work for the area that you’re looking at because GameTime has been to Nac several times, they know Ritchie Street Park and where we are going to put things.”

The all-abilities park has been planned since December of 2020 and has undergone several iterations before having the contract approved by the city council. The design was taken to representatives with the mayor’s council with disabilities and the parks and recreation advisory board. Bray says the design has the full community in mind and isn’t just a staff creation.

“They provided more feedback and that changed the design because we wanted to make sure it was for the community as a whole and not just staff developed, and then we took that final proposal to council and asked them for approval. So with the input of a lot of citizens we have developed what we think is going to be a fantastic playground.”

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