SYRACUSE -- City officials hope to be in the financial position to break ground on Phase 1 of a unique park for children with handicaps by spring 2013.
In the meantime, they have the task of raising $152,000 just to schedule such an event. They are searching for the fundraising mechanisms to make it happen.
Kresta Robinson, city recreation director, took 10 minutes during a recent work session to update city leaders on contributions for Chloe's Sunshine Park and to solicit help and ideas in moving the project forward.
Robinson said Phase 1 of the special park is expected to cost approximately $409,338. Phase 2 of the park is expected to cost another half-million, bringing projected costs for the entire project to $909,338.
The park will be at 1800 S. 2000 West.
Robinson said she is pursuing several grants, which may aid fundraising efforts, but she also suggested organizers are looking at special decorative bricks to build a walkway to the park.
People will be encouraged to donate $100 for each brick. Donors' names will be put on the bricks. Larger bricks on the path will go for $150, with the potential to put a company logo on the marker.
City leaders discussed various mechanisms to allow residents to donate to the project, potentially allowing the process to happen as part of paying utility bills.
In the meantime, Robinson sounds optimistic.
"I am very positive we can reach that $150,000 by spring," Robinson told city leaders.
Fundraising efforts were helped recently by the Davis County Arts Gala, which raised $46,000.
The park, which will be the first of its kind west of St. Louis, is expected to have features that allow all children to play side-by-side, whether they have a handicap or not. Besides being wheelchair accessible, the park is expected to feature transfer stations, ramps, wide paths, stable surfaces, table play and ample space around equipment as well as swings to accommodate children in wheelchairs.
Auditory and tactile elements also are expected to be built into the park.