Stow City Center Project
Creating a centralized community gathering space for all residents
The City of Stow is hard at work on its City Center Project, a development plan that will create a community gathering space on the site of the former SKIP Playground and adjacent property. This first project in the City Center development will focus on the rebuild of Skip Playground, creating an abundance of fun and easily accessible opportunities for families and children. Groundbreaking is expected to take place Spring 2022, with installation of playground components in Fall 2022.
This community amenity will serve as an anchor project for a comprehensive, long-term plan to develop a focal center for the City of Stow, successfully combining culture, recreation, leisure, education, wellness, inclusion, and more. Importantly, this project will engage residents and visitors alike.
The City of Stow conducted a Visioning Workshop in 2019 that helped create a plan for the space. The workshop included members of the Parks and Recreation Board, Arts Commission, Commission on Inclusion, and Senior Citizens Commission. At the conclusion of the workshop, approximately 20 residents agreed to volunteer on ad hoc committees. The Playground Committee and the Steering (Fundraising) Committee were formed. Prior to COVID, the committees were meeting regularly to discuss their areas of focus. Both committees submitted recommendations to the administration. These recommendations helped shape the project as it developed.
They concluded with the mission of the project: “To create a welcoming, safe outdoor gathering space custom-tailored by the community for the community that encourages interactive, healthy play and independence for people of all ages and abilities.”
Prior to COVID, the Steering Committee was working hand in hand with the administration, and had acquired approximately $275,000 in pledged private donations for the project. Since then, the mayor and administration have raised a total of $656,000.
Selecting a Playground Company
With Parks and Recreation Board approval of a concept that was derived from volunteer input, the City administration solicited RFPs from playground companies for design and build of the playground. A final footprint and final equipment selection was decide upon, and the NEW SKIP playground components and amenities was ordered! Expected delivery of equipment is June 2022. And then, installation of the playground will take approximately 4 to 6 weeks. Look for a GRAND OPENING of the NEW SKIP Playground in the Spring 2023!!!
VOLUNTEER APPRECIATION RECEPTIONS
Mayor John Pribonic and the Parks and Recreation Department hosted two receptions to thank volunteers who helped on the committees for the Stow City Center Project, including the new SKiP playground coming summer 2022. We appreciate the time volunteers gave to help with the project from conception to design to implementation. We are excited that the first steps of the project are underway with the upcoming installation of the new SKiP playground. The attendees were able to see the SKiP concept video and view pictures and descriptions of all the pieces of equipment that will be installed.