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Improvements at Chaloner Recreation Center are underway.

The additions to the center come after the city received grant funding from Kate B. Reynolds and the North Carolina Parks and Recreation Trust Fund to not only install new playground equipment, but a splash pad, new multisport courts for tennis and basketball, a paved walking trail and parking lot improvements.

Installation of the new playground equipment is expected to take three weeks, Parks and Recreation Director John Simeon said this week.

The new playground at the center will have three elements — play structures for 2- to 5-year olds; play structures for 5- to 12-year olds and adult fitness equipment.

A quarter-mile walking track will circle around the playground and splash pad.

The splash pad installers have begun work and they estimate a four-week process, Simeon said.

The project also includes picnic shelters by the playground and the splash pad.

Then the timeline calls for repaving of the parking lot, installation of parking lot lights, new sidewalks and the completion of the walking track.

“It’s been a very long process,” Simeon said. “It’s nice to see construction underway. The process with community meetings worked well to accomplish this project. I think it’s going to be a source of pride and provide excellent opportunities for kids and families to have quality recreational opportunities.”

Simeon said the new amenities at the center will not be opened piecemeal. “Because it’s a construction site it will not be opened until the entire project is completed. We are aggressively working with the contractors to have this opened as soon as possible. We plan to have a grand opening where we will invite dignitaries, the community and the organizations that provided grant funding.”

The project came about after the city discovered there were no grant funds available to repair the former swimming pool at the center.

With pool repairs at the time estimated at $600,000, the combination of grants and a match of $50,000 from the city meant $400,000 was available for the project. “We were able through the hard work of staff and our employees to obtain several grants that allowed us to renovate the whole park instead of just one element,” Simeon said.