The city of Charlottesville has approved spending hundreds of thousands of dollars to repair a recreation center, as well as improve an old swing set.
Council made the call to shift more than $350,000 to shape up the Carver Recreation Center and buy new playground equipment for Tonsler Park. The Carver Recreation Center is located in the old Jefferson School.
The space is closed for renovations now, but when it is opened up to the public, the city's Parks And Recreation Department wants to make sure it's fully furnished and functional.
"We're really pumped about it," explained Charlottesville Parks Division Manager Doug Ehman. "Programming staff is very excited about the opportunities those spaces will avail, and we're really excited about the opportunity to really ramp it up for the citizens of Charlottesville in providing them a top-flight facility."
The Jefferson School Community Partnership is set to pay for renovating and expanding the facility, but a quarter million dollars from the city is going toward buying gym equipment, furniture, computers, and Wi-Fi service. Ehman expects the center to open late this year. On top of that, Tonsler Park is getting some much-needed new playground equipment.
Charlottesville Parks And Recreation plans to replace the 17-year-old wooden equipment by late summer, after gathering some more community input.
Ehman says the set is long past its useful life. "We just felt it was time to step it up and get it going," Ehman said.
After looking over cost estimates for new swings and slides, it seemed to total more than the $100,000 originally budgeted for the work. Council has now pulled an additional $120,000 of unused monies from other park projects to help with the finances.
Ehman says this playground will be three times bigger than anything the department has done like it in the city. "It's going to be nothing like the city's ever seen before," Ehman said. "It's got to have lots of opportunities for kids to really burn off the gas."
Ehman stressed this is all existing money being moved around to pay for these additional costs. The majority of the cash is coming from leftover funds for projects at the Onesty Aquatic Center and Smith Aquatic And Fitness Center.
Click here for more information on these and all upgrades for city play spots.
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Dannika Lewis joined the NBC29 news team as a general assignment reporter in June 2010. She started her ventures in broadcast news at Elon University where she graduated with a bachelor's degree in Broadcast Journalism. Email/Follow on Twitter/ Full Story