Church Hill BMA approves ADA playground equipment at Derrick Park

Jeff Bobo • Oct 17, 2019 at 12:30 PM

CHURCH HILL – There are some changes coming to Church Hill's Derrick park, including new ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) playground equipment and possibly some other amenities that should be popular with the community.

On Tuesday, the Board of Mayor and Aldermen approved the purchase a new ADA accessible playground swing which will be installed near the road inside the park.

Alderman Tom Kern noted, “A wheelchair bound person can put themselves on it, and be safe, and actually swing themselves.”

The new swing will cost $4,964, but that's just part of the BMA's vision for future improvements at that park.

Derrick Park is located on the Holston River next to the Holston Army Ammunition Plant and features a boat ramp, playground, walking trail and picnic shelters.

On Tuesday, Mayor Dennis Deal appointed a committee including aldermen Tom Kern, Keith Gibson, Michael Bell and city recorder Josh Russell to study other proposed improvements at the park.

Deal said the committee would, “look at changing a few things over there to make it a little bit safer for the kids. We really need to explore what we need to do there.”

Deal added, “We've got five parks and I'll put them up against any city's parks. Once we do this they're going to be much, much better. I think that splash pad over there will help. I've been asked to get a volleyball court over there.”

The current playground equipment is on the opposite end of the park from the restrooms, and Deal said that needs to be changed as well.

“You've got small kids on a swing set, and they have to go to the restroom, they gotta go,” Deal said. “So if we can move that stuff closer to the restrooms and really upgrade that park, I think it would be really good for the taxpayers.”

Deal added, “What we're looking at is taking some of the parking in that park over there and maybe making 4-6 for handicapped (parking spots). And bring that equipment closer to the road, closer to the bathrooms.”