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Rain slows installation of new playground equipment at Borden Park

Matthew Lane • Feb 23, 2018 at 4:00 PM

KINGSPORT — Tell your children and grandchildren that new playground equipment is being installed at Borden Park.

And if the weather ever cooperates, kids could be playing on the new equipment in about two weeks.

What’s going in?

If you drive by the main building at Borden Park, near Lamont Street, you’ll see that the main platform has been installed. This tree-house-style structure eventually will have multiple slides, poles, climbers and a rock wall.

Adjacent to it — and connected via an overhead ladder — will be a cluster of climbers presenting a higher level of challenge for kids. In the middle of the playground will be eight swings (one ADA compliant), while on the far end will be a Tri-Runner swing — basically a three-person, maypole-type swing.

Kids will be able to travel across both main structures without touching the ground. And though several old pieces of playground equipment have been removed, some of the orange and blue pieces, such as a climber, a set of swings and a slide structure, will remain.

What’s taken place?

Work to install $118,000 in new playground equipment began earlier this month, and a company official said previously the work would take about two weeks to complete. Of course, that was before the nearly two weeks of rain the Tri-Cities region has been living under.

Anyone who’s gone by Borden Park this week has seen the wet and muddy conditions at the site where the new equipment is being installed. A foreman spent a couple of days pumping rainwater from the site in order to get work back on track. At the time, he said the project should be done in the next two weeks. That is, if the weather cooperates.

Robin Dimona, the assistant manager for Kingsport’s Parks and Recreation Department, said the completion date is a “hard one to nail down right now” because of the weather.

“The foreman said two weeks, but the rain has been really hard on the workers,” Dimona said. “The company is ready to work whenever they can get in there. It’s just been the weather.”

About the park

Borden Park is one of the original parks from the Nolen plan, which was used to design Kingsport, and was built as the ideal buffer between the industrial zone and the residential area.

It’s located between Lamont, Willow and Borden streets and includes a basketball court, six tennis courts, picnic shelters, playgrounds, horseshoe pits, a paved walking trail, 65 different species of trees and an 18-hole disc golf course.

Recent enhancements

This past fall, Kingsport cut the ribbon on the first of three rounds of improvements, which included a newly paved and expanded walking trail, a resurfaced basketball court and an open plaza for gatherings and exercise classes.

Funding for these — and future improvements — was made possible through a $450,000 Project Diabetes grant from the Tennessee Department of Health along with $550,000 from the city.

Kingsport also replaced the 20-year-old disc golf baskets, and the Rotary Club of Kingsport agreed to replace two old shelters. The park will also get some additional playground equipment in 2019 through a third round of funding from the state grant.

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