SNAP work under way
Clif Knight, Hartselle Enquirer
The long-awaited construction of the Special Needs Accessible Playground (SNAP) of Morgan County has begun in Hartselle’s Sparkman Park.
A concrete finishing crew put down a permanent 2,000 square foot pad for a special needs swing set last week. The pad is located at the southeast corner of the civic center and will serve as the foundation for a smooth, colorful rubberized finish surface on which the swing set will be installed. The Dawson Company is the general contactor for the project, which is expected to be completed by May 1.
The swing area will provides swings for special needs children as well as all other children. Some of them will be equipped with a platform for wheelchair access, latching entry door and lockdowns for the wheelchair. Others will have donut-type restraining devices and traditional safety belts.
The location was chosen for swing safety clearances and to allow for the possibility that children other than those swinging might wander into a swing that is in motion. While the swings are not located in the proposed one-third acre SNAP project area, they are an integral part of the overall facility.
The swings were purchased by Hartselle Civitans six years ago but funds needed to build a place for their installation were not available. Thus, they were placed in storage at the civic center.
Construction of the swing area was made possible by two substantial contributions. Sen. Arthur Orr was instrumental in securing a $20,000 state grant and the General Electric Company donated $10,000 toward the SNAP project. The estimated cost of construction is $31,500. The overall project cost is $692,000. The SNAP project is to be solely funded by benevolent giving and is administered through an all-volunteer, incorporated organization. As a 501C3 organization, all donations are tax deductible.
The overall SNAP project will provide a comprehensive selection of play stations, which are usable by all children with an emphasis on special needs usability. Included in he playground plan are elevated platforms with wheelchair -access ramps and panel-mounted games, 35 individual ground-level play stations and a 2,000 square-foot splash pad with 21 additional individual water-related play stations.
SNAP has been designed to satisfy requirements of the American with Disabilities Act (ADA) as well as being the premier special needs playground in the state.
Comfort and aesthetics will be significantly enhanced with prominent and colorful logo-bearing sun shades, seating for adults and abundant landscaping. Adding to the playground are numerous nearby youth activities in Sparkman Park including an adjacent municipal swimming pool.