Ironton park gets an upgrade

Published 12:00 am Thursday, June 22, 2023

The City of Ironton has recently completed upgrades to the Edna Kopacz Park at the corner of Eight and McGovney streets. A ribbon cutting was held on Saturday. (The Tribune|Mark Shaffer)

70s-era playground equipment replaced with safer play station

Before the city could cut the ribbon and officially re-open the Edna Kopacz Park at the corner of Eight and McGovney streets on Saturday afternoon, kids were already playing on the newly-installed playground equipment.

The kids would go from the swings to the see saw to the slides and then down another slide.

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And if they happened to fall, their impact was blunted by a surface that was padded and then covered in wood chips to create a really soft surface.

The money for the $55,000 came from the recreation levy fund and the general fund and city officials said that it was a good example of what they were trying to do to improve the city.

Chris Haney, the City Council chair and Recreation Committee chair, said they wanted to expand the recreational facilities for the city’s children and the council wanted people to see that the rec levy funds were being used to give something to the community that they could see.

“This park was kind of neglected over the years,” he said. “Now, it is really nice and it was an expensive piece of equipment, but it is really safe. The surface we have is really safe. It’s not like the 15 foot slides of just solid metal we had back in the day.”

He said the recreation committee, which includes Nate Kline and Craig Harvey, saw a need to upgrade the parks and other offerings.

“So that is what the recreation committee and the council are looking forward to providing,” Haney said. “We want thing for adults and children alike to enjoy.”

The park isn’t completed yet, an ADA-compliant swing for children with disabilities is ordered and should be installed within a week or two.

“We want this park to be accessible for all children,” Haney said.

Mayor Sam Cramblit said they were happy to open the upgraded park, which is the third one that has been upgraded or renovated in the past couple of years.

“This one was actually a complete renovation, the only thing still here is the basketball court from the previous park,” he said. “It had been a long time since any new equipment was brought in.”

He said previously, there were just a few teeter totters, swings and a few pieces of equipment that were so old he had probably injured himself on when he was a kid.

“There wasn’t too much here. A lot of it had broken down and was never replaced,” he said. “So, this was a really good opportunity to spruce up one of our parks.”