First for playground for handicapped children in the Lafayette area

The Lafayette Kiwanis Club and Lafayette Consolidated Government are creating a playground area for children with physical and mental challenges. Called Parc Independence, the playground area will be located in Girard Park next to the tennis wall.

In early December, the Kiwanis Club of Lafayette presented a $62,356 check to Miracle Recreation Equipment Company to pay for handicapped-accessible playground equipment for Parc Independence.

This will be the only park for handicapped children in the region, Gerald Boudreaux, LCG director of parks and recreation, said. The nearest such park is outside of New Orleans, he said.

Parc Independence will be built in phases over the next five years. LCG is contributing the land, $150,000 in seed money and is handling the dirt work and concrete, Boudreaux said. The project is expected to cost about $250,000. The Kiwanis Club had an architect design the site and is purchasing equipment. The group is committed to contributing more than $80,000 to the project, Domingue said.

Work on the first phase should begin after Christmas and should take about eight weeks. Children could be using the park by this spring.

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