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Spotlight on Southwestern Illinois: Engineering and Architecture

FGM Architects, Edwardsville Spray & Play Park, Edwardsville

By JENNIFER K. HASAMEAR
p09 spray play park    A new Spray & Play Park in Edwardsville is intended to help the city become an even better place to live.
    “Edwardsville is known for having a great school district, being the home of SIUE and for having an abundance of great shops and unique restaurants, but unfortunately we are not known as a destination for parks,” Edwardsville Mayor Hal Patton said. “In an effort to change this, we have started the ‘A Better Place to Play’ Campaign, which focuses on three major park developments. We hope to grow our parks along with our community and believe that having adequate green space, both passive and active, is a tremendous asset to our current and future residents.”
    Expected to open next Memorial Day weekend, the park will be located behind the new Public Safety Facility, south of downtown on South Main Street. The city officials are working closely with FGM Architects on the park.
    FGM initially began working with the city on its new 40,000-square-foot Public Safety Facility, estimated at $11.8 million and the new 8,000-square-foot satellite fire station, estimated at $2.4 million, on the Southern Illinois University Edwardsville campus.
    “We initially partnered with FGM on the Public Safety Facility and felt that it only made sense to expand our partnership to include the park which will share the site on South Main Street,” Patton said. “FGM not only has experience with designing state-of-the-art facilities, such as our future combined police and fire station, but also with splash pads and parks. They have brought an exceptional level of experience to our project.”
    The new park will also include a fitness trail, shade structures, pavilions and a restrooms/concession building. The splash pad is designed for a wide range of ages with small bubbling fountains for small children and a large dumping bucket and a variety of spray features for older children.
    The project is estimated at $2 million, and the city has already received more than $830,000 in state and local grants, along with many community donations from individuals, businesses and organizations.
    For more information, visit betterplacetoplay.com.