Grand Haven Mayor Geri McCaleb cut the ribbon before students charged forward, high-fiving local officials and members of the Grand Haven Department of Public Safety before clamoring onto the new climbing apparatus.
The climbing structure cost about $30,000, according to Grand Haven City Manager Pat McGinnis. That takes up about half of the funding toward a project to also add new structures to nearby Bolt Park on the corner of Beachtree Street and Pennoyer Avenue.
The Grand Haven Rotary Club raised funds for the play structure in 2015, but the city did not succeed in acquiring state grants the past three years, according to McGinnis. The city and Louitit Foundation pitched in to complete the project.
The investment on the east side of U.S. 31 is aimed at children currently underserved by walking-distance recreation opportunities, McGinnis said.
“The idea with this project was to invest in something for the kids away from the waterfront,” he said. “This neighborhood has scores of kids, so play equipment was a great improvement.”
The new structure is located west of South Eastern Avenue beyond the outfield of the little league baseball diamond, about a block from Bolt Park. More equipment could be added in the location if the latest addition is a success, McGinnis said.
“This sort of spreads it out and makes them move around, put a few more miles on their tennis shoes,” he added.