City Council voices unanimous support for Carly’s Clubhouse

The Pelham City Council voiced unanimous support for Carly's Clubhouse, an all-inclusive playground, during a July 7 City Council work session. (Reporter Photo / Molly Davidson)

The Pelham City Council voiced unanimous support for Carly’s Clubhouse, an all-inclusive playground, during a July 7 City Council work session. (Reporter Photo / Molly Davidson)

By MOLLY DAVIDSON / Staff Writer

PELHAM—The Pelham City Council voiced unanimous support for Carly’s Clubhouse, an all-inclusive playground, after a presentation by Pelham Police Officer and champion of Carly’s Law Dustin Chandler and Kyle Cundy, project manager from custom playground company Leathers & Associates, during a June 7 work session.

“A lot of (special needs families) are boxed up in their homes because there is nowhere for them to go,” Chandler said, explaining Carly’s Club house will provide a place for “special needs and typical children to play together.”

Cundy explained the community-driven building process behind each of Leathers & Associates’ playgrounds, beginning with a design day and ending with hands-on community construction, with benchmarks along the way to keep the project on track.

“Our (playgrounds) are truly custom built, no two playgrounds are the same,” Cundy said. “We meet with the community and with the kids to create something truly unique.”

Cundy also highlighted a focus on safety, noting Leathers & Associates’ playgrounds exceed ADA standards and also strictly adhere to ASTM, CPSC and NPSI regulations. Additionally, the playgrounds are constructed to ensure visibility for “ease of supervision,” and are made out of recycled plastics, which are “environmentally friendly and long lasting,” Cundy said.

Chandler explained all Carly’s Clubhouse needed from the city was a piece of land, fundraising and project management would be community-driven and guided by Leathers & Associates.

Mayor Gary Waters voiced support for the project, noting Pelham’s mantra of “play and stay in Pelham.”

“It fits that mantra perfectly,” Waters said.

“The timing is excellent,” City Council President Rick Hayes said, noting the City Council is working on a master plan for city land. “It’s an exciting opportunity for us…the bottom line…is just finding the right space.”

With the City Council’s support, Chandler said fundraising can begin and he, along with Pelham PTO President Kelly Windham, are working to set up a 501(c)(3) organization for donations to the project.

“This is going to be really big, it’s something really exciting,” Chandler said after the work session. “It’s going to be great.”