Beginning, Monday, Oct. 9, community volunteers will come together to construct PlayTown Suwanee V2.0, working through Saturday, Oct. 15, weather permitting, to complete the new playground.
And there’s still time to volunteer for the project.
“We need volunteers of all abilities and interests!” PlayTown co-chair Colette Grodzicki said. “Whether you are a construction expert, a little bit handy or have never even held a hammer, we’ve got a way for you to be involved in a truly impactful project.”
Abby Wilkerson, the city’s public information officer, said the link to register as a volunteer will remain open throughout the build process.
“We are still looking for first aid volunteers and skilled laborers,” Wilkerson said. “We don’t want people to be scared off by the term ‘skilled’ – if you can use a drill, you’re considered skilled labor!
“We’d love to have anyone join us at any time,” she continued, “but it’s nice to be able to plan for people, so we certainly prefer they register ahead of time when possible.”
Suwanee is replacing the original PlayTown Suwanee with an entirely new playground. The community-built playground will be in the same location, roughly the same size and with elements similar to the original. PlayTown V2.0 will meet modern design standards using earth-friendly, durable recycled materials and be virtually maintenance-free when completed.
“After 20 years of fun, PlayTown has reached the end of its planned service life,” Suwanee City Manager Marty Allen said. “We explored rehabbing it, but ultimately it made even more sense to rebuild it with modern, durable materials and incorporate some new features.”
A committee run entirely by volunteers and assisted by Suwanee City Hall staff is in charge of getting the new PlayTown Suwanee over the finish line. During the initial design phase, the project team hosted brainstorming sessions with students from local elementary schools to get their input on what they wanted in the new playground.
“Playground trends have come a long way in 20 years,” said Kim Towne, PlayTown’s project manager. “With the construction of Town Center on Main, this seemed like the perfect time to give our beloved PlayTown a much-needed facelift, while also providing a new generation of parents the opportunity to be involved in a truly impactful project.”
The first PlayTown Suwanee was completed over five days in 2004 with help from more than 1,000 community members. The city is seeking volunteers for this second community-build project, from skilled laborers to novices, to help build the playground from Oct. 9-15, weather permitting. Work shifts average from two to three hours up to the full day or week.
The city has contracted with Leathers & Associates — the designer and project management team behind the original community build — to return to help modernize PlayTown Suwanee for a new generation. Since 1971, Leathers has helped build more than 3,800 playgrounds across all 50 states and in seven other countries.
All designs created by Leathers meet or exceed American Society for Testing & Materials International Playground Safety Standards, Consumer Product Safety Commission Safety Guidelines and Americans with Disabilities Act accessibility requirements. All of their designers and construction consultants are certified playground safety inspectors — PlayTown V2.0 will be inspected and certified upon completion.
The collective build experience offers a hands-on opportunity for residents to give something tangible back to the community. Other volunteer opportunities include first aid, food service and other miscellaneous donations.
According to the city, an official celebration for the opening of PlayTown Suwanee V2.0 will be held two to three weeks after construction is completed.
Click here to volunteer for the playground build project.