SKIP - BACK IN 2023!
The Story of Skip
A central gathering place for community activities and recreation has been a crucial aspect of the vision of the City’s administration. A project emerged with a vision "To create a space where the community gathers for recreation, leisure, and cultural events." Fortunately, there was available space at the City Center Complex. This property conveniently houses Stow’s City Hall, Safety Building, and the former Skip (Stow kids Playground.) This space in the heart of Stow also features the Sancturetum, a unique arboretum. Its visibility to motorists traveling along the highly frequented State Route 91 further enhances its appeal. And over 4,000 residents live within a ten-minute walk of this site.
The initial phase of the City Center Project has focused on the rebuilding of SKIP. The original community-built wooden playground was dismantled in 2014 due to deterioration. The replacement project aimed to create an even larger and improved version of SKIP – a destination playground!
The City organized a Visioning Workshop to develop an inclusive plan, involving the Parks & Recreation Board, Arts Commission, Senior Commission, and Commission on Inclusion. More than 20 residents graciously volunteered to serve on committees. The committees provided recommendations to the administration, and this played a significant role in shaping the project's development. The ultimate mission became “To create an inclusive and inviting outdoor gathering space, designed by the community for the community, to promote interactive and healthy play, fostering independence for individuals of diverse ages and abilities.”
The committees collaborated closely with the mayor to raise funds for the Skip Rebuild project. Together, with the mayor at the helm, they successfully secured over $650,000 in private donations. With the necessary funds in place, the design of the playground began, and underwent meticulous refinement. Finally, in the Spring of 2023, construction of the new playground commenced. Along the way, the mayor organized receptions to express gratitude towards the dedicated committee volunteers who generously contributed their time and efforts towards the project.
The NEW Skip was unveiled to the public with a ribbon cutting ceremony on July 2, 2023. That day signified just the beginning of the project’s impact. Attendance records have been consistently broken on a daily basis, as both residents and visitors have flocked to experience this NEW Stow amenity.
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