Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Upgrade of Apalachicola’s playground equipment began today at Battery Park

William Poloronis, of  Poloronis Construction showing members of the
Conservation Corps how to pour a footer
City officials began today the long anticipated upgrade to playground equipment within the City of Apalachicola’s Park System starting at Battery Park.

Over the next few weeks, workers with the Conservation Corps of the Forgotten Coast, a local young-adult job training program under the auspices of Franklin’s Promise Coalition and local contractor, William Poloronis of Poloronis Construction will be installing new playground equipment at Battery, Lafayette and Franklin Square Parks.

The drive towards the upgrade came about after a group of young mothers, led by Krystal Shuler Hernandez and Heather Henderson expressed their concerns to city officials during last year’s February city commission meeting over aging and unsafe playground equipment at Battery Park.

However, during the meeting the commission moved to address and upgrade playground equipment throughout the city’s park system at Battery, Lafayette and Franklin Square Parks using proceeds from the sale of the old Fire Station if that sale had occurred.

The upgrades at all three parks have been made possible at this time through the volunteer effort of Poloronis who is providing construction know-how to the Conservation Corps free of charge and from a generous $12,000 donation from David and Michaelin Watts, to go towards the purchase of playground equipment to be installed at Lafayette Park.

In addition, the Franklin County Tourist Development Council (FCTDC) voted at their March meeting to contribute $12,000 towards the project, all to combine with the $50,000 set aside for the upgrades by city officials from the settlement received from BP for economic losses suffered by the city during the 2010 oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

Additional work to be done at all three parks besides upgrading playground equipment, include the replacement of decking and rails already completed by the Conservation Corps around the Community Center in Battery Park. The installation of lightning suppression rods at Lafayette Park to safeguard park lights during inclement weather and the installation of central heat and air, which has already been completed at the Recreation Center at Franklin Square Park. Other work to be done by the Conservation Corps at the Recreation Center include an upgrade to the kitchen area, the installation of new windows and the installation of Wi-Fi internet service.

The public is reminded to stay clear of the parks during construction.

For more information, please contact City Administrator Lee Mathes at (850) 653-9319 or via email at