But work goes on for city’s first all-inclusive playground

HARLINGEN — The equipment is ready. Kids will be added later.

The first of the city’s all-inclusive playgrounds is moving rapidly forward, and as of yesterday the equipment installation was nearly complete.

“The protective surfacing, the fall zone, still needs to be installed,” Parks Superintendent Jeff Lyssy said yesterday. “We’re going to put a perimeter sidewalk all around the playground area, and we still need to build the restroom and put in the ornamental fencing.

“When it’s all said and done, with everything available and open to the public, it’ll be in by June,” he added.

The Lon C. Hill playground measures 125 feet by 100 feet, and was manufactured to the city’s specifications by a company called Miracle Playground, which also installed the playground equipment.

The all-inclusive playground at Lon C. Hill was funded with a $425,000 grant from the Valley Baptist Legacy Foundation and another $100,000 from Harlingen attorney Rollins M. Koppel.

The playground will be named in memory of Koppell’s wife as the Amalie L. (Amy) Koppell All-Inclusive Playground.

The Lon C. Hill Park playground is the first of three such all-inclusive playgrounds planned in the city.

The other playgrounds will be constructed at Pendleton Park and Victor Park at a cost of $800,000 which will be split between the city and the Harlingen Consolidated Intermediate School District.

The total cost for all three playgrounds will be $1.3 million.

All are tailored to include special-needs children in the play areas, and will offer mazes, platforms, slides, swings and more — all of them handicapped-accessible.

The restrooms to be built near the playgrounds will be compliant with Americans With Disabilities Act regulations.