Woolie World In Millbury Gets $44,000 Grant For Renovations

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Washington St. Park, better known as Woolie World will be getting a face-lift in the spring.
Washington St. Park, better known as Woolie World will be getting a face-lift in the spring. Photo Credit: Laurie Connors

MILLBURY, Mass. — The Town of Millbury received a $44,800 grant from the state to help renovate the only significant playground in town.

Washington Street Park, known in town as Woolie World, is the home of the most widely used playground in the community and hosts some of the town’s best Little League fields.

The town must upgrade and renovate the equipment as well as make it accessible to children with special needs. Of the 1,790 students in Millbury public schools in 2011-12, a total of 303 students were enrolled in the special education program, about 17 percent.

Millbury Town Planner Laurie Connors applied for the grant with the help of special education advocate Carrie Gallagher, who helped by raising nearly $15,000.

Work should start in the spring and should be complete by June 30, Connors said. All the work will be done by volunteers. “We’re putting together a list of volunteers that can help out as well as if anyone would like to donate money to the project,” she said.

The project involves four major types of upgrades: ADA accessibility improvements, safety improvements, functionality improvements and maintenance-related improvements. It will include:

• Ages 5-12 Play Structure: The existing play structure is sturdy, so it will be cleaned, painted and renovated to include four sensory and interactive panels in a location accessed via an existing ramp.

Ages 2-5 Play Structure: This structure will be replaced with a larger one and include a  loop ladder, pod climber, wiggle ladder, talk tube and a variety of panels, as well as the double and single slides that are favorite components of the existing structure.

• Learning Wall: An ADA-accessible learning wall will be installed that contains five sensory and interactive panels. This will appeal to all children but especially those with physical and mental challenges.

• Swing Set: A new double swing set containing one molded bucket seat with five-point harness will be installed next to the proposed learning wall.

• Playground Edging and Surfacing: Stone dust pathways as well as TuffTimbers edging will be installed and 90 yards of rubber mulch will be deposited within the new playground enclosure.

• Shading: A minimum of nine trees will be planted to provide shade for the playground and basketball courts.

• Parking: One accessible passenger vehicle parking space and one van accessible parking space shall be designated through installation of signs and stripes.

The grant through the Commonwealth’s Fiscal Year 2013 EOEEA Parkland Acquisitions and Renovations for Communities Grant Program will finance 62 percent of the project.

The entire cost of the project is $72,250, of which $44,800 is from the grant and $15,000 was raised locally. The town is responsible for the final $12,250.

Anyone wishing to volunteer or to donate money to the project can contact Town Planner Laurie Connors at 508-865-4754.

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