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Spurgin gives update on Lincoln Park

By Staff | Apr 22, 2011

Dave Spurgin, City of Estherville parks and rec director, told Estherville Rotarians Thursday about the new Lincoln Park. EDN photo by Michael Tidemann

About four years ago, people in the former Lincoln School area were wondering who was going to buy the school and what they might do with it – and what might happen to their neighborhood.

Well, today Lincoln School is gone. But in its place is a park filled with kids.

It was really a collaborative effort. After razing the school and selling off some lots on the northeast side of the property, the Estherville Lincoln Central Community School District entered into a longterm lease with the city to turn the park into a playground. The only stipulation is that the park continue to be accessible as a school bus stop.

The city harnessed money from the voter-approved 1 cent sales tax to landscape the park and put in playground equipment.

Dave Spurgin, City of Estherville parks and rec director since 1978, told Estherville Rotarians Tuesday about the development of Lincoln park and how it’s benefitted kids for a wide area.

Spurgin said the city took out an east-west fence on the north side of the lot and put in a chainlink fence then added a recreational fence from north to south to 12th Avenue.

Phase I was completed September 2010, funded by $65,000 in Excel Estherville money, taking care of most of the $70,000 project.

“We couldn’t even get the surfacing done before it was just full of kids,” Spurgin said.

Spurgin said the playground equipment was specially designed for accessibility by children of various ages and physical abilities. A soft surface under the equipment assures children’s safety and has a five-year warranty.

Spurgin said Phase II will cost $50,000, with Excel money picking up most of the cost of that as well. Phase II will include swings, a station for children 2-5 and more poured-in-place surface. He said work is scheduled for mid-July and will be done hopefully with volunteer labor.

Regarding other recreational facilities in Estherville, Spurgin said more tennis courts could be coming to the South 15th Street complex to replace those by the city pool.

Another addition to the South 15th Street complex last year was the skate park. There’s also a three-quarter-mile walking trail finished a couple years ago.