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February 6, 2013

Charlestown looks ahead to rec center

Council members approve accepting bids for first phase

CHARLESTOWN — Charlestown City Council members met Monday night and approved the bidding process for the first phase of the city’s Family Activities Center.

Plans for stage one of the facility include a sprinkler park, playground, roller skating rink and multipurpose building where light concessions will be sold. Completion of the first phase comes with an anticipated price tag of $1.3 million, Charlestown Mayor Bob Hall said.

“We are hoping to have it open May 24 — the last day of school,” Hall said.

The Family Activities Center will be located across from the Charlestown High  School football field on Park Street.

The recreation center will expand on a skate park built at the site in 2010.

Hall presented several architectural drawings of the proposed facility on a large television during the meeting and responded to questions from the council before the unanimous vote was cast that approved the city to begin accepting bids to construct the first phase. 

The 65-by-65-foot sprinkler pad will include 18 to 20 water features, Hall said, centered around a 12-foot-tall fiberglass pirate. A 15-foot border will surround the pad where chairs can be set up so parents and guardians can lounge in the sun while keeping a close eye on their children. 

Hall said the sprinklers will be designed to shut off after a certain time if no children are playing in the area, which will save money and conserve water. Buttons in each corner of the sprinkler pad can be pushed by the children to activate the sprinklers after they have been automatically shut off. 

The playground will cover a 66--by-54-foot area, and also will have a pirate theme. Hall said 4-inch-deep soft tile will cover the playground area to minimize possible injuries to children falling from the playground options.

Hall said the most technical aspect of phase one will be the construction of the building adjacent to the playground and sprinkler park. The building will house a concession area and restrooms. He said organizers are considering the option of including locker space in the building for patrons to keep personal belongings and multipurpose rooms that can be rented out for birthday parties and other events.

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