Construction volunteers sought for Park Project

The person who will orchestrate Build Week for the Concordia Community Park Project made a sweeping prediction about it last week.
"I'm inviting all of you to the best event in Cloud County of this generation," said Barry Segal of Play by Design, the New York company that designed Concordia's future destination playground in the City Park.
Segal has been involved with dozens of community-built playgrounds. The process, in which hundreds of volunteers build a playground over five days, becomes something they talk about for the rest of their lives, he said.
Segal was in Concordia last week to help the Park Project committee prepare for the final leg in what will be a yearlong effort to build the playground this spring. The big push now is securing skilled and unskilled construction volunteers for Build Week, scheduled for April 23-27.
"If you can swing a hammer, hold a board or grease a screw, the committee wants you,” Janet Lowell, a member of the Park Project's steering committee said. "We need 80 to 100 workers per four-hour shift."
Free child care will be available to participating families during Build Week. The committee will accept children who are potty trained up to age 10 at the First Christian Church, Lowell said.
The biggest volunteer commitments will come from construction supervisors. Several people have signed on as chiefs, but the committee is seeking 12-15 additional working or retired people who can commit to working at least part or all five build days. Crew chiefs should have building experience and be able to lead groups of 10-12 people each day, Lowell said. Those interested in volunteering in any capacity may sign up at concordiaparkproject.com/volunteer.
Volunteers will report to the site at 8 a.m. each build day. Work will wrap at 8 p.m. Lunch and supper will be provided.
"We've had great community response from organizations and churches that are providing meals," Lowell said.
In addition to securing volunteers, Lowell said, the committee still needs to raise $15,000-$20,000 to cover unforeseen expenses for building materials and expand the project for better accessibility. The committee has met its initial goal of $150,000.
Several large sponsorships are still available. A musical instrument for $5,000; multiple $1,000 slots for the brick entry feature and $500 sponsorships for a mosaic wall. Engraved bricks ($30) and fence pickets ($75) may be purchased through the end of February. Visit concordiaparkproject.com/donate for more information and a PayPal link.
This month, the Park Project's Youth Committee kicks off its Name the Playground Contest. Children in kindergarten through sixth grade may participate. Fliers will go home this week with Concordia Elementary School students. The winner gets a fence picket engraved with his or her name and the opportunity to cut the ribbon for the playground's grand opening April 27. For more information, contact Brandt Hutchinson at brandhutchinson@gmail.com.

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