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Thurmont news-briefs

Danielle Ryan

(3/24) Inclusive Playground work underway

Construction has begun on a new playground in Thurmont’s East End Park. The playground will be one of only a handful of all-inclusive playgrounds in the Central Maryland area. The playground will include activities and equipment that can be enjoyed by children of all abilities and challenges. Funding for Phase 1 of this exciting project comes from a grant obtained by the Catoctin Civitan Club, along with a Program Open Space grant obtained by the Town of Thurmont. The playground has been designed and is being installed by Playground Specialists, Inc. out of Thurmont. "The Town of Thurmont is very excited to be able to provide an all-inclusive facility such as this. We are very proud that the Civitan Club, along with the town is able to partner to bring this goal to a reality," said Thurmont Chief Administrative officer Jim Humerick.

As of March 16, Playground Specialists, Inc. has made a great deal of progress on the East End Park Inclusive Playground in Thurmont. The old play equipment has been removed and the existing swings were relocated farther to the rear of the play area. Three of the old climbers and several benches have been repurposed and will be used in other Thurmont parks. New pieces including the Cruise Line, the Teeter Tunnel, and the Unity Rocker have been installed along with new benches. The next steps will include the installation of the rubber surfacing and the installation of an ADA accessible walkway from the parking lot.

Program Open Space projects

The Board of Commissioners considered a few ideas on potential projects to be funded by Project Open Space (POS) during a meeting in March. The applications for POS funding are due May 5, and Chief Administrative Officer, Jim Humerick, will begin working on applications as soon as he has a set of approved ideas.

Humerick made a few project suggestions including: additional acquisition funds for Gateway Trail connection, additional funds for the second and third phases of the East End Inclusive Playground project, funds for the conversion of the existing concession building at East End Park into a handicap accessible restroom, funds for a third pavilion at Community Park, and funds for solar powered lights for Trolley Trail. He also mentioned the idea of funds needed for engineering design for additional parking at Eyler Park, but this piece would most likely be turned down.

Commissioner Martin Burns agreed that some time in the near future, the Town should definitely look into acquiring funds for design work on East End Park, because it currently looks like a "hodge podge," however they shouldn’t ask POS for that funding. Burns also would like to see the concession stand made into a handicap accessible restroom, because it would coincide with the construction of the all-inclusive playground.

The final 2 phases for the inclusive playground will cost approximately $150,000. However, Humerick noted that the Catoctin Civitan Club is looking into additional funding for the final two phases of the project.

The Board will continue to look into other ideas and will compile a definite list to present to Humerick. For now, they definitely would like to see funding for the East End Inclusive Park and the handicap accessible restroom.

Funds for Creeger House being sought

The Thurmont Historical Society is currently looking for monetary help to save the Creeger House. This residence was donated to The Thurmont Historical Society by Ethel Creeger to serve as a repository for artifacts and records of the town and the surrounding area. Located in Thurmont at 11 North Church Street, this historic structure was originally a two-story log home. After the Civil War Col. John R. Rouzer purchased the property, enlarged the building and encased it in brick.

Now, after almost 150 years of exposure to the elements the soft bricks are failing. Many bricks will need to be replaced and extensive repainting with the proper mortar must be done before more damage is incurred.

We have estimates and proposals that average about $60,000 to remedy the problems. A MHAA grant request has been submitted but since this is a matching Grant the minimum we will have to raise is still $30,000, with no guarantee that we will receive the grant funds.

We are asking for your help, members of the community. Donations can be made to The Thurmont Historical Society. These donations will be placed in a separate account at Woodsboro Bank. Our mailing address is 11 North Church Street. Thurmont. For more information, call 301-271-1860.

The Creeger House is currently open on Sunday afternoons from 12:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. or by appointment. Stop by and visit us. Take a tour or use our library.

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