Signs don't stop residents from using unfinished Evans Town Center Park

Tuesday, Sept. 13, 2011 1:38 PM
Last updated 3:24 PM
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The playground equipment at Evans Town Center Park is complete, but the builder wants families to stop using it until the rest of the park is complete and turned over to the county.  Barry Paschal/Staff
Barry Paschal/Staff
The playground equipment at Evans Town Center Park is complete, but the builder wants families to stop using it until the rest of the park is complete and turned over to the county.

With slides and monkeybars all connected by catwalks and shaded by whimsical blue umbrellas, the new children’s playground at Evans Town Center Park is a tempting destination for families.

It’s so inviting, in fact, that they’ve been ignoring signs warning them to stay out of the playground, even walking across unfinished sidewalks and hoisting their children over locked gates to get in.

“If you ride by, the playground does look finished,” said Brad Riner, the site superintendent for Dabbs Williams General Contractors of Statesboro, Ga., the company building the park. “But it’s not.”

Sitting like an island in a sea of construction, the playground is surrounded by a 4-foot-tall fence with heavy earth-moving equipment, construction workers and landscape crews bustling outside to complete the rest of the 19-acre park.

Columbia County officials and Dabbs Williams representatives huddled Tuesday to look for solutions to trespassers using the playground before the park opens. More signs and barricades will be the likely result, Riner said, along with getting sheriff’s deputies involved.

Premature use of the playground hasn’t been much of an issue during the week, when construction workers on the site can shoo away those who drive in. The weekends, however, have been a recurring problem.

County Commission Chairman Ron Cross said he estimated more than 50 people were using the playground on recent weekends, despite caution signs and locked gates.

“The children are just very excited,” County Administrator Scott Johnson said. “Parents were lifting their children over the gates,” then climbing over themselves.

Some of that activity has damaged the fence, Riner said. Because the contractor hasn’t yet turned over the project to the county, the company is on the hook for fixing any such damages.

“I know people are excited and the little kids want to play on it,” Riner said, “but this is still a construction site.”

The approximately $250,000 playground is part of a nearly $8 million park that will include the new Lady Antebellum Pavilion. It is scheduled for completion in early October, with a concert by the namesake country trio scheduled for Oct. 28.

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stillamazed
1488
Points
stillamazed 09/13/11 - 01:53 pm
0
0
So fine people who ignore

So fine people who ignore signs and go in. People know how to read and they can see that the park is not finished yet.

Chillen
17
Points
Chillen 09/13/11 - 02:05 pm
0
0
$8 million park. I've seen

$8 million park. I've seen it, it's very nice but I have to again question local govt on their lack of frugality in a horrible recession. Will they ever learn? Probably not. Until their govt paycheck bounces or their own pension is in trouble....which isn't so far fetched.

Why couldn't this park have been developed with private money? Charge user fees to enter it? There ARE solutions that don't involve govt seized money.

If splost money was used for this, that is also a joke. Folks, you MUST stop giving the govt open ended spending abilities. It's like giving a 5 year old a $50 per month budget and giving it all to him while he is in Toys R Us. He's gonna spend every single cent of it - immediately.

Vote down ALL future splost requests.

raul
4461
Points
raul 09/13/11 - 02:11 pm
0
0
@stillamazed.Really great

@stillamazed.Really great example that the parents are giving the kids by ignoring the signs to stay out. Yea, that doesn't apply to me. NOT!

Good points, Chillen.

raul
4461
Points
raul 09/13/11 - 02:26 pm
0
0
Oh, and these very same good

Oh, and these very same good folks that think the signs don't apply to them would be the ones to file a lawsuit against the county when jr. or mary janes falls off construction equipment and injures themselves. The more I think about this, the more it ticks me off.

Little Lamb
44966
Points
Little Lamb 09/13/11 - 02:50 pm
0
0
Have you noticed how many

Have you noticed how many people ignore the "No Cell Phone Use" signs in waiting rooms? I guess ignoring signs today is like the Boston Tea Party in the 1770s — one last gasp of liberty.

raul
4461
Points
raul 09/13/11 - 03:09 pm
0
0
@LittleLamb. Cell phone abuse

@LittleLamb. Cell phone abuse is another great ticker-offer for me. Guess I am getting too crabby and crotchety in my old age. Speaking of crabby, I wonder what happened to the poster with the pen name Crabby Appleton? I used to follow him.

And another thing.... LOL.

stillamazed
1488
Points
stillamazed 09/13/11 - 03:16 pm
0
0
I agree to both Raul and

I agree to both Raul and little lamb they will be blaming the county of thier child gets hurt and people are downright rude with thier cell phones. People ignore signs where I work also, maybe there are too many of them or maybe people just do what they want to do, I think it is the later.

Iwannakno
1533
Points
Iwannakno 09/13/11 - 04:09 pm
0
0
They should be issued
Unpublished

They should be issued trespassing citations and forced to pay a fine in court. Doubtful this will happen but one can wish.

dougk
3
Points
dougk 09/13/11 - 04:47 pm
0
0
Chillen...has a good point.
Unpublished

Chillen...has a good point. It seems to me that years ago, organizations (Kiwanis, Legion, Elks, Knights of Columbus, Chamber of Commerce. . .) took on worthy community projects such as this with fund-raising events. Where are those people? It's a community building exercise to be involved in community projects such as this, compared to the tax office simply cutting a check.

SCyankee
0
Points
SCyankee 09/13/11 - 07:22 pm
0
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until one of their little
Unpublished

until one of their little brats get hurt, then they'll be trying to sue someone. the parents need a good slap IMO.

scoobynews
3824
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scoobynews 09/13/11 - 07:22 pm
0
0
And people wonder why their

And people wonder why their kids act the fool in school. Kids learn from the best - their parents. If parents break the rules so will their children. How are you going to tell a kid who gets in trouble at school to follow the rules if you ignore signs clearly posted telling you to "keep out"??

sassylassie
420
Points
sassylassie 09/13/11 - 09:41 pm
0
0
Gotta love those Columbia

Gotta love those Columbia County parents. I mean how stupid could you possibly be to lift your kids over the fence then you climb over yourself? As if there aren't any other parks in the county to visit. Ridiculous. These are the same parents who allow their teenagers to hang out at Waffle House at 3 a.m., who allow their kids to run wild in Wal-Mart and who insist every kid on the sports team get a trophy and awards for warming the bench. These parents are encouraging their kids to do wrong by MODELING the wrongdoing for them. Makes me want to move!

sassylassie
420
Points
sassylassie 09/13/11 - 09:44 pm
0
0
Perhaps a trespassing

Perhaps a trespassing violation with a fine would be in order?

raul
4461
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raul 09/13/11 - 11:20 pm
0
0
I would like to hear the

I would like to hear the explanation/justification from those parents who will stand up and say yes I did that, i.e., allowed the kids to play in an unauthorized area. You can do it anonymously, of course. Come on.

Riverman1
81476
Points
Riverman1 09/14/11 - 06:10 am
0
0
Raul, I pondered your request

Raul, I pondered your request even though I haven't been there. It's only a doggone playground and it's apparently finished. This is not breaking in the library after hours and trashing it or something. The only reason given for not using it was damage to the temporary fence as the parents lifted their kids over it. Give me a break. Hurry up and open the thing. 4 year olds can't read signs. Attractive nuisance and all that.

fd1962
26
Points
fd1962 09/14/11 - 07:40 am
0
0
Let's simply arrest an entire
Unpublished

Let's simply arrest an entire family of these egregious violators. They can then be publicly executed on-stage as the opening act for the Lady Antebellum concert. That should satisfy the purists here.

david jennings
571
Points
david jennings 09/14/11 - 07:44 am
0
0
Ha riverman says 4yr. olds

Ha riverman says 4yr. olds cant read,and probably never will,thier parents(if you call them parents)cant either.Its ridiculous how people have no respect or regard for authoriity.Adult brats raising little brats.

anotherlook
88
Points
anotherlook 09/14/11 - 07:44 am
0
0
I am a Columbia County parent

I am a Columbia County parent that lives easily within walking distance of the new park. Yes my kids are very excited about it. And yes they wanted to go play on the new playground. I told them no. The park was not open and that we would wait until it was. End of discussion. For any who don't recognize this type of parenting, it is very old fashioned. it is called "teaching your child to respect authority, obey the rules, honor property rights, and to delay gratification." This type of parenting is not for everyone. You need two things that seem to be in short supply: (1) a backbone; and (2) common sense.

Riverman1
81476
Points
Riverman1 09/14/11 - 07:51 am
0
0
Anotherlook said, "You need

Anotherlook said, "You need two things that seem to be in short supply: (1) a backbone; and (2) common sense."

You could use that same argument for the parents who let their kids play there, too. The playground portion is finished. There's no kind of construction work going on over the weekend. Are we waiting for some kind of grand opening as someone else asked?

fd1962
26
Points
fd1962 09/14/11 - 08:24 am
0
0
An open bow-season on
Unpublished

An open bow-season on criminal kids scurrying around in there would be oh so Columbia County too.

anotherlook
88
Points
anotherlook 09/14/11 - 08:34 am
0
0
If the sign says "caution"

If the sign says "caution" and the property doesn't belong to you; no rationalization should be needed. The construction company doesn't want to assume the liability risk. As for a grand opening, I am not sure if or when there will be one. But until it does open, a loving,responsible parent won't be allowing their child on the playground until it is open. Besides, there is a smaller playground behind the library that can be used. The new playground will open when it opens.

Riverman1
81476
Points
Riverman1 09/14/11 - 08:42 am
0
0
From all we know, the

From all we know, the playground part is finished. There is no danger anyone has reported. But our litigious society keeps little kids from playing because it has not officially opened. If anyone has another reason, please let us know. Let's focus on that common sense thing you brought up.

Chillen
17
Points
Chillen 09/14/11 - 08:57 am
0
0
I remember when I was a kid

I remember when I was a kid we used to play on construction sites from time to time. We crawled in pipes (thank God we didn't get stuck!), over & under things.

No one yelled at us, no cops showed up to hassle us and it wasn't a major no-no. Thanks to the blood sucking lawyers and lawsuit happy Americans this has all changed.

anotherlook
88
Points
anotherlook 09/14/11 - 09:10 am
0
0
Come on people! Are we so

Come on people! Are we so self-indulgent and lacking in self-restraint that when in a case like this, some one tells us "no," we won't respect their wishes? As for the old days Chillen, my friends, siblings and I got into places we had no business going as well. But the difference was, my parents would not have been aiding and abetting my efforts. And to be sure, if my parents had ever found out about it, I know that my sibs and I would have been standing up eating dinner that evening!

Riverman1
81476
Points
Riverman1 09/14/11 - 09:13 am
0
0
AnotherLook, I do understand

AnotherLook, I do understand your point. But we are just saying this is not THAT big of a deal. Should people break the rules...No. But I'm just saying most of us have had a knee jerk reaction here. The silly fence should probably be taken down and the playground portion opened up immediately on weekends. Again, I do understand your concern about respect for authority.

david jennings
571
Points
david jennings 09/14/11 - 10:00 am
0
0
Well maybe the contractor is

Well maybe the contractor is responsible for turning out a certain quality finished product upon final inspection.If they take down the fence now and the complete job is not finished,then upon final inspection they have problems with the condition of the playground.The equipment being left vulnerable at night could be subject to vandals or metal thieves.Maybe the contractors insurance requires a fence until the job is signed off as completed.If the fence is taken down and the area is declared open,then all week long you have visitors mixed with construction.I believe theres more to consider than just the wants of the children which of course dont understand but the adults should.

Jane18
12332
Points
Jane18 09/14/11 - 10:20 am
0
0
Riverman, did you not read

Riverman, did you not read the superintendent of the jobs' statement? "The playground looks finished, but it is not." Plus, there are unfinished sidewalks, heavy equipment, things that will cause a child to get hurt. Come on, surely you can see no one needs to be on that playground yet!

seenitB4
84423
Points
seenitB4 09/14/11 - 10:27 am
0
0
Riverman......please stay off

Riverman......please stay off the playground til its finished....you can get an ice cream instead....:O)

stillamazed
1488
Points
stillamazed 09/14/11 - 10:33 am
0
0
Chillen, we all used to do

Chillen, we all used to do things like that when we were kids but everyone wasn't suing everyone back then either. If we got hurt oh well we got hurt and probably got our butts spanked to for being somewhere we didn't belong. Bottom line is, the park is not ready and not open. Obey the signs and wait for the frigging fence to be taken down by the construction company and then it can be a free for all....

Riverman1
81476
Points
Riverman1 09/14/11 - 10:59 am
0
0
SeenItB4...haha. I want to

SeenItB4...haha. I want to play.

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