With anticipation of things to come, the Archbold community is keeping a close eye on construction work as the second of three phases of the Woodland Park project progresses.
By fall, residents could be scaling walls and zipping down slides on the playground equipment that will be installed in the coming months.
Of all the improvements at the new park, village parks and recreation director Jennifer Kidder said she's most excited about the playground equipment. It soars 24 feet high and the "amazing design" includes unique features unlike others at area playgrounds, she said.
Volunteers from the local Rotary and Lions clubs will install the equipment, saving $30,000 in labor costs, she said. Installation could begin in October.
Woodland's second phase work includes new parking lots and basketball courts, Mrs. Kidder said, as well as a road into the park. In the final phase next year, the parking lot and road work will be completed.
Six soccer fields and two flag football fields were built in the park's first phase, and three soccer fields are being built now, she said.
Cost for the park's initial work was under $600,000, she said, much less than the anticipated $1 million cost. Phase two's cost is just over $1 million.
In August, $1,040,000 in one-year notes were issued in anticipation of the Woodland phase one project and construction of a large storage building in Memorial Park, said Dennis Howell, Archbold village administrator. Council recently approved the renewal of the notes plus $750,000. The total will be applied to the construction of roads, walking paths, and soccer field development, and for electrical equipment, a sprinkling system, seeding, landscaping, and other improvements, Mr. Howell said.
When phase two is completed, "an outstanding soccer complex will be ready for use by the public in 2006," Mr. Howell said.
Last year a competitive soccer league was established, and there are 450 participants in the program, Mrs. Kidder said. "It's amazing how much it has grown." Compared to some cities, 450 participants might not seem like a lot, she said, but she pointed out that Archbold is a village with a population of about 4,000.
The 60-acre Park along State Rt. 66 is the village's sixth and largest park. The village purchased the land late in 2000.