The City of Greer is planning to overhaul Kids Planet this fall, and this 50-foot zip-line is one of a number of new features.

Kids Planet overhaul planned for the fall

Kaelyn Cashman's picture
By: 
Kaelyn Cashman

Renovations at Kids Planet will begin in September, according to Greer city officials.

Following more than a year of planning, the City of Greer contracted Cunningham Recreation to complete an overhaul of the popular playground.

Beginning Tuesday, Sept. 3, Parks and Recreation Department staff will begin removing existing equipment from the site.

“Our plan right now is to close the playground the Tuesday after Labor Day,” said Red Watson, Assistant Director of Parks and Recreation. “Our staff will come in and remove all the personal effects.”

These items will be stored at the Operations Center until the playgrounds are completed in the spring of 2020.

“After the opening, the Cultural Arts Division will begin the planning process of creating an area within Kids Planet to display the items removed from the original Kids Planet,” Watson said.

Conceptual plans for the renovation depict a new enchanted forest theme, which includes: three 50-foot zip lines, a 100-foot zip line, a misting station with three outlets and a music station with eight or nine different instruments.

“We wanted to make this a destination playground,” Watson said. “Just like the original Kids Planet, we wanted to have something that everybody from the upstate or from surrounding areas wants to come to Greer and enjoy.”

A couple of hillside slides are planned for the natural slope from the current playgrounds down to the new parking lot to be paved near the lower entrance to the ball fields.

Outdoor fitness stations, including a pull up station requested by Council Member Lee Dumas, will be located along a walking trail surrounding the park.

The area for ages 2-5 showed insects, animals, mushroom steppers and similar elements.

“These are play elements that would actually be incorporated into the design,” Watson said. “Keeping with the nature theme, you’ll see climbing logs.”

A dragon fly with interactive wings is also pictured as well as a large butterfly or similar shade structure.

Plans depicted an orchard or grove of trees for the ages 5-12 area.

“They’re basically just a climbing apparatus for the kids that they can kind of go from one to the other,” Watson said.

A climbing net is also depicted, connecting towers which are about 25 feet high.

“Going back to transparency, you can see through it,” Watson said of the climbing net.

Kids can crawl, walk or climb through the net, and a modern day tire swing is pictured as well.

“It’s kin to the tire swings we grew up with,” Watson said.

Another area, called the “bob,” will have a series of trampolines, which will double as drains.

One of the major changes will be no mulch on the playground.

“All the surfacing included in this proposal is pour in place rubber surfacing,” Watson said.

A conceptual design presented last Tuesday has been approved in full by Greer City Council, despite being over the original budgeted amount.

Budget
The original budget for the Kids Planet renovation totaled $1.3 million with $1 million coming from funds acquired through the sale of the former Allen Bennett Hospital and $300,000 from a private donation.

Additional funds of $237,330 were added by the City of Greer from Parks and Recreation Department from money carried forward, bringing the total revenue to $1,537,330.

Expenditures include $50,000 for Bluewater Civil Engineering’s site design, $1,092,826.35 for Cunningham Recreation’s playground equipment and $795,840 for grading and site work.

Expenditures total $1,938,666.35, which was $401,336.35 over budget, but funds from the Greenville County Redevelopment Authority CDBG funds of $223,080 for site work addressing accessibility brought the deficit down to $178,256.35.

As a result, the 100 foot zip line and two hillside slides were going to be cut to stay within budget, but Greer City Council approved the full request with plans to find additional funding from other parts of the budget.

kaelyn@greercitizen.com | 877-2076

Park Features:

50-Foot Zipline

100-Foot Zipline

Misting Station

Music Station

Hillside Slides

Fitness Stations

Climbing Net

Council Action:

Wade Hampton: Council unanimously approved the second and final reading of an ordinance to change the zoning classification of property owned by George and Eleni Troubetaris located at 14189 East Wade Hampton Boulevard from C-2 (Commercial District) to C-3 (Commercial District).

Memorial Drive: Council unanimously approved the second and final reading of an ordinance to change the zoning classification of property owned by Clark Nesbitt located at 213 Memorial Drive from R-12 (Residential, Single Family District) to O-D (Office District).

Industrial Project: Council unanimously approved the first and final reading of a resolution authorizing an agreement with Project Freeman Farms with respect to an industrial project in the city whereby the project would be subject to payment of certain fees in lieu of taxes.

City Property: After executive session, Dumas made a motion to decline an offer to purchase city property, which was seconded by Councilman Griffin, and the vote passed 6-0 with no discussion.

The Greer Citizen

317 Trade Street Greer, SC 29651

P.O. Box 70 Greer, SC 29652

Phone: 1-864-877-2076

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