Groundbreaking Friday for Everybody Plays all-inclusive playground in Clear Lake

CLEAR LAKE — The groundbreaking for the Everybody Plays inclusive park and playground project in Clear Lake will take place at 11:30 Friday morning.

The property at 109 South 15th Street, which used to be a county maintenance garage near the city’s aquatic center, was sold to the city last year for $250,000 with the intent to redevelop it into an inclusive playground that provides children and adults of all ages and abilities the opportunity to play together.

Mayor Nelson Crabb says his interest peaked in an inclusive playground project after going to see one in east-central Iowa. “I happened to be in the Marion-Cedar Rapids area and knew they had one down there. I went out, drove out and looked at it and thought it was really neat. They had a complete shelter there where parents could sit and watch their children play. The only part I didn’t like about that was it was clear out in the country somewhere, where this is brought into town. If we’re talking all-inclusive, this is a real appropriate place for that.”

Dean Snyder Construction of Clear Lake had the best bid submitted for the project at $1,977,500. The city issued $1.3 million in general obligation bonds to offset the cost of the project and will be using cash reserves for the balance of the city’s share. The Everybody Plays committee has pledged the remaining balance of their funds, which is about $130,000.

After the groundbreaking, site work will take place this fall with the majority of the work being done next year. The project is expected to be completed around Labor Day 2023.