By Joe Wiercinski
Herald Staff Writer
B Street Playground’s equipment has seen better days. The chain link fence surrounding it is rusty and a few posts are missing.
Its small pavilion has a hole in the roof but no picnic table. There is no volleyball net and the faded paint of the hopscotch grid makes it hard to see on the asphalt court.
The shabby condition of the swings and sliding boards doesn’t matter, though, to the kids who enjoy them, said Brandi McClearn.
Kids in the West Hill neighborhood between Logan Avenue and South State Line Road use the playground all the time – with caution.
“They use their old clothes like gunny sacks,” said the stay-at-home mother of three. “That way, they can use the sliding boards and not ruin their clothes.”
McClearn’s handsome house at 489 B St. that she and her husband Andrew bought three years ago is directly across from the entrance to the city-owned playground and their kids enjoy playing there.
Mrs. McClearn said she was happy to learn about a month ago from City Manager Scott Andrejchak that its future is about to brighten.
“He had a meeting with some of the neighbors on my porch,” she said. “He said the city doesn’t have the $150,000 it would take for a complete renovation, but he said it probably can be fixed up a little at a time.”
At Thursday’s workshop session, Andrejchak told council he wants Winslow Engineering Inc., Hermitage, and playground consultant Pashek Associates, Greenville, to come up with a plan the city can afford.
The work would be done next year.
“We know we’re on a limited budget but with some private fundraising, some volunteers and some (Community Development Block Grant) money we should be able to put in some lighting and rework the fencing and landscaping so it would be easy to maintain. We want to turn it into a positive place that we think would benefit the neighborhood.”
Mrs. McClearn thinks so, too.
“There are little kids all around here,” she said. “Kids from way up the street play in the park and people I don’t know walk here so their kids can play.”