Athens Park To Become Handicap Accessible

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Thanks to several local donors, the Southside Park off of Richland Avenue will see some new additions.

Thanks to a $125,000 project headed by the Athens Noon Rotary, the park will receive handicapped accessible upgrades

The project also received a $10,000 award from the Athens Foundation.

The Americans with Disabilities Act states several requirements to deem a park accessible for children with disabilities.

Most of the requirements involve making the park big enough for a wheelchair to fit through and ramps for children to access the structure.

Additional features that are planned for Southside Park include:

– On-the-ground musical instruments (drums, bells, etc.)

– Interactive sand toys

– Protective siding on high-up structures

– Rubberized ground/mulch

– Easily accessible ride on toys.

In addition to protective siding on all high areas and wheelchair ramps, the plan also gives the park a handicapped accessible swing set.

The park currently has interactive sand toys and a ride-on racecar.

According to Jody Harris, the final part of the park project will be the most difficult to achieve. “The last phase will be the rubber surfacing, and believe it or not, that’s almost the most expensive piece–$52,000 is the estimate we have right now, ” said Harris. The rubber surfacing will make it easier for those in a wheelchair to navigate.

The project will continue to accept donations as it moves forward with the additions.