A group in Pittsburg has a vision of a playground where everybody, from children to adults and the handicapped to the non-handicapped, can play together and have a great time.

A group in Pittsburg has a vision of a playground where everybody, from children to adults and the handicapped to the non-handicapped, can play together and have a great time.
Chuck Killingsworth, Pittsburg State University Health, Human Performance and Recreation professor, presented that vision through a video at the Pittsburg City Commission meeting Tuesday evening. The Everybody Plays playground, which would cover the tennis court area at Schlanger Park, would include accessible equipment for people of all sizes, ages and abilities.
Killingsworth said the closest similar programs were in Springfield, Mo., to the east and El Dorado to the west.
“There’s really nothing like that around here,” Killingsworth said.
The city’s only commitment to the project is allowing for the build space, while the rest of the project will be covered through grants and private donations.
“They have a large task ahead of them,” said Jeff Wilbert, interim Pittsburg parks and recreation director.
And a large cost. The estimated cost for the playground equipment alone is just under $400,000, while clearing the tennis courts and overlaying the area with concrete would cost an additional $100,000. Other potential costs include a parking lot and accessible restrooms, both of which would also be supplied by grant or private money.
Killingsworth said several grants were available for the project, and added that once the first piece, a 2-year-old to 5-year-old space, was completed, that donations would speed up.
“That will be a magnet,” Killingsworth said.
Four commissioners attended the meeting. Marty Beezley was absent. In other news, Pittsburg City Commissioners:
• saw Pittsburg Mayor Rudy Draper present the grant awards from the Presbyterian Church funds. The $18,500 in grant awards flow from the church fund to local non-profit organizations to improve and/or enhance housing for low-to-moderate income citizens.
The First Christian Church, on behalf of Hearts and Hammers, the Broadway Tower Corporation and Habitat for Humanity of Crawford County all received $5,000 awards from this year’s allocations. The First Church of the Nazarene received $2,500 and the Crisis Resource Center received $1,000.
• approved a contract between the city of Pittsburg and the city of Girard to allow Pittsburg to perform building inspections for Girard at a rate of $30 per hour plus mileage. The contract is a temporary agreement while Girard searches for a new fire chief, and covers inspections at Girard Medical Center.
• approved a request, from members of the Little Balkans Association, to waive the $25 temporary drinking establishment license fee for the Little Balkans Festival Wine and Cheese Tasting event.
• approved a change order reflecting an increase of $9,220 for the Atkinson Municipal Airport Improvements Project. The additions covered erosion control on box culverts underneath the wildlife fence, with 95 percent of the cost covered by the Federal Aviation Administration. The city’s added cost is $461.
• approved Ordinance No. S-978, consenting to the delivery of a First Supplemental Bond Trust Indenture in connection with its Special Obligation Tax Increment Revenue Bonds (North Broadway Redevelopment - Pittsburg Town Center Project), Series 2006, in the aggregate maximum principal amount of $6,310,000.
• approved Ordinance No. S-979, approving a First Supplemental Bond Trust Indenture in connection with its Transportation Development District Sales Tax Revenue Bonds (North Broadway - Pittsburg Town Center Project), Series 2006, in the aggregate maximum principal amount of $1,395,000.
• approved a request submitted by Ralph Schroeder, 2700 block of N. Walnut, to approve Ordinance No. G-1074, providing for the change of certain areas from Planned General Commercial (CP-2) to Planned Medium Density Residential (RP-3) and amending and supplementing the Zoning District Boundary Map and Zoning Ordinance No. G-663.
• approved Resolution No. 1090, a resolution authorizing filing of an application with the Kansas Department of Health and Environment for a loan under the Kansas Water Pollution Control Revolving Fund Act. The application would be for improvements to the wastewater collection system.

Kevin Flaherty can be reached at kevin.flaherty@morningsun.net or by calling 231-2600 Ext. 134