Center director working to bring in first-class playground
By Devin Felix
May 3, 2007 | LOGAN -- The empty field of yellow grass
and asphalt outside the Whittier Center may be filled
next year with a massive playground, designed partly
by children in the neighborhood.
Whittier Center director Kendall Andelin is leading
an effort to raise about $350,000 to pay for the playground,
which would be designed by New York-based Leathers and
Associates. Leathers and Associates is known for building
high-quality playgrounds that are unique to each location,
"Their structures are one of a kind," Andelin
said. The playgrounds themselves are outstanding, but
the best part is the community involvement in the project."
On May 24, playground designers from Leathers will
visit Adams Elementary and hold brainstorming sessions
with students to get their ideas on what should be in
the playground, Andelin said. Students will draw, or
write their ideas and the designers will then incorporate
them into the design of the playground, which will be
unveiled that day.
The plan then calls for volunteers to build the playground
over a five-day period in spring of 2008, Andelin said.
Andelin hopes businesses or individuals will donate
much of the building material, which will keep building
The Whittier Center, located at 290 N. 400 East St.,
is a perfect location for a playground, Andelin said.
The surrounding neighborhood is old and neglected, and
the area has a low average household income, he said.
Also, the nearest playground is at Adams Park, across
busy 400 North St., which deters many parents from sending
their children to play there.
The neighborhood strongly supports the idea of building
a playground at the Whittier Center, Andelin said. Building
a playground has been part of the Whittier Center's
mission statement for years, but no one has tackled
the project until now, he said.
Andelin is looking for volunteers to join committees
to direct fundraising and construction. He said he hopes
a wide variety of community members and organizations
will take part in the process.
The Whittier Center is housed in the 99-year-old Whittier
School Building, and hosts meetings and activities of
26 different groups, Andelin said. About 1,600 people
visit the Center each week, he said.
The playground will be designed with children in mind,
Andelin said, with a focus especially on children with
disabilities. He said designers will work with an accessibility
expert to ensure that the playground is accessible to
all children, including those with hearing or visual
disabilities and children in wheelch airs.
Leathers and Associates is the same company that will
design and build the Ryan's Place Park in River Heights
later this month, and the design and building process
will be much the same.
Anyone interested in taking part in the development
of the Whittier Center playground can contact Kendall
Andelin by calling (435) 753-9008, or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.