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GWAFF donates to Lawson Park shelter project

GWAFF donates to Lawson Park shelter project

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Shelter project

DONATION: Members of the Greater Waverly Area Foundation Fund (from left) Emily Wilcox, Justin Yates, John Toy and Abbey Pascoe (all in grey) present a check to City Administrator Stephanie Fisher (in pink) on Sept. 14 in Waverly for $10,000 for a new park shelter at Lawson Park. (Staff Photo by Elsie Stormberg) 

WAVERLY – A donation of $10,000 will help put in the finishing touches on a new picnic shelter at Lawson Park, Parks and Recreation Director Shayna Murrell said. 

“Obviously, it’s not an inexpensive project so it really helped us even with picnic tables that we want to get in there, or any of the aesthetics that we need,” Murrell said. 

The donation to the city came from the Greater Waverly Area Foundation Fund’s (GWAFF) park improvement fund, Fund Advisory Committee (FAC) Member John Toy said. The city received the donation in a big-check ceremony on the evening of Sept. 14. 

Toy, who is also a member of the city’s parks and recreation committee, said Lawson Park has been an ongoing project since 2011 and the park shelter, scheduled to be built on the southern side of the park, is just a continuation of the project. 

The project was budgeted for $60,000 to begin within the 2020-2021 fiscal year which is scheduled to end on Sept. 30. Murrell, who started in January of this year, said the city got a “late start” and began researching quotes in March. 

At a city council meeting on July 13, the city approved a bid from Fry Park and Playground Equipment for $53,085. The bid accepted was for a shelter 24 feet by 34 feet with a concrete pad of 30 feet by 40 feet and a 10 foot by 10 foot concrete walk-up. 

At the meeting, Toy spoke on the project stating that it was needed to provide shade and a place to cool off for families. At the Aug. 10 meeting, the council also approved a second bid from Fry Park and Playground Equipment for $5,518.60 for picnic benches that will provide the groups and families that travel to Lawson Park for various sports activities a place to sit. 

“People can even bring their grills or have snacks and stuff for teams to just kind of huddle over there, get them out of the shade,” Murrell said. “Especially during the summer months when it’s extremely hot.” 

The shelter would be an opportunity for parents, especially soccer parents, to sit in the shade and watch their kids perform. 

Murrell said they hope to get as much done as they can before the fiscal year ends and estimate the concrete pad and walkway will be completed before Sept. 30. 

“We really hoped to get it done by the end of this month,” Murrell said. “If anything we’re going to at least have the concrete pad done hopefully in the next few weeks.”

After the end of this month, the city will be looking at getting it done before the winter months, but as of now they are waiting on materials and it’s “up in the air on how soon,” Murrell said.

The city has recently received the six picnic tables that will call the new park shelter home, thanks to the donation from GWAFF. 

“It’s just a really big help in finishing this whole project,” Murrell said.

Elsie Stormberg is a reporter for The Waverly News. Reach her via email at

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