Dawsonville city officials are asking the community to hold their horses.
The state-of-the-art playground is nearing completion, but until the park’s construction phase comes to an end, it’s off limits.
“We’ve got six different contractors doing various things during the construction phase which means the entire park is a construction zone,” said Mayor Mike Eason. “What I want people to understand is it’s not that we don’t want people on the playground, it’s just we can’t let them get there.”
The inclusive playground, designed by Great Southern Recreation, was installed this summer on the Allen Street side of the park. It includes a zip line, slides of all sizes, climbing elements, a music station, swings and wheelchair accessible equipment.
It features five different types of swings. Beyond the standard swings and baby swings, the park has a double-seated swing for a parent and child to swing together as well as swings that allow for children or adults be strapped in. While the park doesn’t include a swing that can strap in a wheelchair, Eason said the park does have swings for wheelchair users to access and enjoy.
The playground is for all ages - kindergarten to adult - so that children and adults with developmental disabilities can enjoy being a part of the community.
To make room for what Eason calls a “destination playground,” excavators removed dirt which has been relocated to Memory Lane for the construction of a fenced-in dog park.
Finishing touches are being put on the playground equipment, making sure it looks its best and meets safety requirements.
According to Eason, during a recent walkthrough inspection, the city’s onsite certified playground inspector, Clay Moss, noticed two minor problems with playground equipment. Bolts and a corroded swing chain needed to be replaced, which is being done this week.
Landscaping at the playground is also underway, with grass being laid around the perimeter of the equipment. A wheelchair accessible picnic table is also in the process of being installed.
Across the sidewalk from the playground, Everlast will soon begin construction on the bathroom and concession facility for the park.
“In the next couple weeks we should be seeing a lot of progress... not right off the bat, but maybe three, four weeks down the road we’ll be seeing lots more,” said Trampas Hansard, Public Works Operations Manager.
According to Hansard and Eason, the contractors onsite are installing fences and light poles, landscaping and constructing park amenities. The city has turned the park over to the contractors during the construction phase, which for some contractors includes provisions that the park is off limits to the public.
“They coordinate with each other on what they have to do, but the general public can’t go back there because it’s a construction area,” Eason said.
Until the contractors relinquish the park back to the city of Dawsonville and city officials do a final walkthrough with each contractor, the entire park is under their control. The community is asked to keep out of the Main Street Park construction for their safety.
Eason estimates the park will not be open to the public until early spring 2020.
At the Nov. 17 city council meeting, citizens will have an opportunity to get a glimpse into potential designs for the park’s amphitheater. The meeting begins at 5:30 p.m. at city hall. Everyone is welcome to attend.