Seguin approves plans for inclusive play equipment for Bauer Park

Seguin approves plans for inclusive play equipment for Bauer Park Main Photo

5 Nov 2022

City Council, Quality of Life, News, City of Seguin, Manufacturing

Felicia Frazar The Seguin Gazette

Four years ago, then-7-year-old Piper Perry formally asked the city to consider adding swings and play equipment to Bauer Park by way of a letter and drawing.

On Tuesday, Seguin City Council approved the purchase and installation of inclusive playground equipment using the drawing Perry sent to then-City Manager Doug Faseler and then-Mayor Don Keil as inspiration.

“A young lady named Piper put together a design for us,” Seguin Parks and Recreation Director Jack Jones told City Council on Tuesday. “This was the inspiration from that concept plan that was approved in 2020 as part of the master plan.”

In 2018, Piper Perry sent a letter and a drawing (pictured here) to then Seguin City Manager Doug Faesler asking the city to add play structures to the newly, re-dedicated Bauer Park

The council unanimously OK’d the use of $625,268.40 of funds from the American Rescue Plan Act to buy the equipment from Play and Parks Structures.

“We’re very fortunate that the American Rescue Plan Act — the federal government gave the city a bunch of money and we’re fortunate that Mr. Parker recommended that some of that money — and through your approval — comes to parks and recreation to do some improvements, like the ball fields, the wave pool, the pickleball (courts) and of course Bauer Park,” Jones said.

Bauer Park, located on College Street, was dedicated as a park in the early 1900s and became the site of the Seguin Public Library until passage of the 2013 bonds gave the city the ability to build a new facility. Since relocation of the library, the building was demolished and the property restored to parkland status, albeit vacant with only a few trees and benches.

“Where the library used to be behind the sign, there is about 1.8 acres or so of vacant land that has been reclaimed as parkland. It is called Bauer Park now,” Jones reminded council.

In 2020, the council approved a master plan that included updating Bauer Park with amenities and, using Perry’s design, the city in partnership with Play and Parks Structures will see those plans come to life, Jones said.

“As you know, Bauer Park is on the east side of North Austin Street,” he said. “There is nothing in that neighborhood — and it is a big neighborhood — for folks to go play. Today, as a lot of people are walking around the park today, but there is not anything in the middle. We’re going to fill the middle with this playground. There is a playground and a large pavilion at the north side of the park and there are about four fitness stations around on the corners.”

The city of Seguin's newly re-dedicated park, Bauer Park, is set and ready for new play structures approved by the Seguin City Council during the Tuesday, Nov. 1, 2022 meeting.

A key aspect the city focused on was making sure that everyone of every ability would be able to enjoy the park.

“Inclusive meaning play events for children with disabilities, maybe adults with disabilities, so that they can participate with their children and their family,” Jeff Mankins, of Play and Parks, explained to council. “We design a playground that has a ramp structure, so a child or a parent that uses a mobility device can access the play structure and can play unilaterally with their friends and family. That is how the playground has been designed.”

Once completed, the playground will have several pieces, including a merry-go-round that invites everyone to enjoy it, Mankins said. There are pieces of equipment that were designed with the help of Dr. Temple Grandin, who is a renowned author and speaker on autism.

“Dr. Temple Grandin helped us design the play pieces that would allow a child that has autism to be able to spin and be a part,” Mankins said. “It’s similar to her hugging machine; it allows a child to be comforted and spins.”

Sponsorships from local manufacturing businesses helped the city secure two additional pieces of play equipment for the park, Jones said.

“We are very fortunate that we have a couple of our larger manufacturing companies in Seguin,” he said. “We have three individual pieces that aren’t part of anything else. Caterpillar is sponsoring a piece in the amount of $20,000 and Niagara is sponsoring a piece in the amount of $15,000. We’re very fortunate that these two companies have come to help fund these two pieces as part of that playground project.”

Upgrades will include a walking track around the park with about four workout stations in addition to the memorial benches already set in the park.

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