When construction is needed, pixie dust can’t be counted on as a solution — but it’s a different story for hard cash that is being sprinkled over Mount Airy by a company known for its magic.
A contract was awarded last Thursday night for a renovation project at Riverside Park, thanks to a grant from The Walt Disney Company which had been announced during the spring.
The $30,000 involved will allow the badly deteriorated basketball courts there to be transformed into a multi-use facility serving people of all abilities.
Mount Airy was one of just 25 applicants in the nation to be awarded a Meet Me at the Park Grant in support of a combined goal by Disney and the National Recreation and Parks Association. It involves providing one million kids and families with greater access to local play spaces.
Another good thing about the $30,000 awarded through Disney and the national association is that unlike other grants, it is requiring no local matching funds. And the contract approved for the work Thursday night by the Mount Airy Board of Commissioners will ensure this.
New River Pavers Inc. of Mount Airy supplied the lowest quote among three companies vying for the project, $27,980.
The other two bids exceeded the grant sum, a $32,500 proposal by Hiatt Asphalt Paving Co. and $35,105 from Carl Rose and Sons Inc.
City Parks and Recreation Director Darren Lewis recommended that New River Pavers be accepted as the contractor for the job due to its low bid and the firm’s experience and references.
Major refurbishing in store
The present surface of the Riverside Park basketball courts, also used in the past for tennis, is cracked and has grass growing through in some sections.
Lewis says it stands out as a site in the park which is greatly in need of attention, with a new playground, skateboarding facility and greenway opening there in recent years.
That attention is to include not only a refurbished basketball court, but Surry County’s first outdoor pickleball court, agility stations, space for outdoor exercise classes and places for kids’ games such as hopscotch.
The National Recreation and Park Association/Walt Disney Co. “Play Spaces” money is available for a variety of uses, such as playgrounds. But Lewis said the focus for the Riverside Park improvements will be serving people of all abilities.
He is especially happy about the pickleball court to accommodate what is reputed to be the fastest-growing sport in the nation, one merging elements of tennis, badminton and table tennis.
Although the successful grant application for the refurbishing project was announced during the spring, Lewis said the work would be delayed until after kids returned to school from summer break.
“Construction should begin around the first of September and take approximately two weeks to complete,” the parks and recreation director stated in a memo.
Tom Joyce may be reached at 336-415-4693 or on Twitter @Me_Reporter.