Archived Story

SNAP set to dedicate new entryway, playground

Published 1:03pm Monday, May 20, 2013

Joy Harris
Hartselle Enquirer

The John Mark Stallings Special Needs Accessible Playground of Morgan County (SNAP) recently added a $56,569 entryway to the existing swing area, splash pad and pavilion.

A ribbon cutting and opening day ceremony will be held Sat., May 25 at 10 a.m. Everyone is invited to take part in the grand opening of the newest playground and entrance.

The new entryway features a lighted clock tower with a weather vane and two-foot backlit LED letters in the SNAP logo. It also has a large concrete pad for displays.

Genesis Construction provided a crane and crew to hoist the clock tower atop the entryway and installed roofing. Members of the Hartselle Park and Recreation staff installed the clock tower.

Phases one and two of SNAP have already been completed since the concept of SNAP was developed in 2006, but Phase Three is still in progress. An additional playground was added to the swing area and splash pad in April, the entryway was completed in May, and the second half of the figure eight play area connected to the splash pad is still to come.

SNAP has been funded completely by cash contributions and in-kind services from corporations, state grants, dedicated events, non-profits, small businesses, religious affiliations and individuals. SNAP has raised over $550,000, but it still needs $215,000 to complete the final stage.

SNAP also plans on including 10 back-to-back handicap parking spaces near the entrance. They hope to re-stripe and sealcoat this parking lot and the rest of the parking area out to Nance Ford Road. This will collectively cost $3,230, which the city of Hartselle agreed to fund, along with resurfacing the rest of the parking lot at Sparkman Civic Center.

The City Council decided to not only pay for the SNAP parking lot to be sealed and striped, but for the entire Sparkman Civic Center lot to be sealed and re-striped to match, allowing $6,000 in funds. Mayor Don Hall made the suggestion to make this extension.

Project manager for the playground, Bob Francis, is pleased with SNAP’s progress since construction first started in 2008.

“All of the hard work and dedication that has gone into SNAP has paid off and will continue to pay off,” Francis said. “The smiles on the children’s faces are priceless. They are so happy not to be restricted by their physical limitations. This playground is specifically for them, which makes it unique.”

He credits SNAP’s success to the generosity of all the donors during a presentation for the City Council on May 13.

“SNAP wouldn’t be possible without the cash and services contributed by giving people and businesses,” Francis said. “Our corporate sponsors have done so much, and in-kind services greatly reduced the amount of money spent on this project. We can’t express enough gratitude to the caring people of Morgan County. This has definitely become a wonderful asset to Hartselle’s community.”

The SNAP playground will be open 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. after the opening ceremony on May 25. Entrance to all playgrounds is free for everyone.

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