Balfour Beatty provides new playground at Fort Bliss
October 27, 2011
FORT BLISS, Texas, Oct. 27, 2011 -- Fort Bliss has a new playground. The garrison command sergeant major, Command Sgt. Maj. Phillip D. Pandy, officially opened the playground when he cut the ribbon at a ceremony held at the corner of Sheridan and Cassidy streets Oct. 19.
Nestled in the center of the historic Red Bricks community, the playground sits in a square courtyard that serves as the backyard for 14 houses, which hosts about 20 families. The grounds incorporate two sliding boards, a jungle gym, four benches and a picnic area including an outdoor grill, all underneath shade-providing canopies.
"The plan is to add swings, teeter-totters and other fun features periodically until the entire area is filled in," said Carry Kann, Balfour Beatty community manager.
"Before this, this area used to be a parking lot," said Pandy. "Look at how many houses are affected by this. What better place to put it?"
Before this, the nearest play area was Smith Bliss Field, which does not have a jungle gym or shady canopies. Pandy commended Balfour Beatty Communities for stepping up on this project for the good of the community. The idea came from neighborhood feedback and has been in the works for about two months.
When Pandy spoke, he remarked on society's insatiable appetitites for improvements and the complaints that surround this attitude. He said this playground is an example of service, duty and taking care of the Fort Bliss population.
"People always want more, more, more," said Pandy. "This answers some of the more. … We are doing great things and this is just one example."
The playground is surrounded by 10 trees donated by Weston Solutions. The trees stemmed from a raffle drawing at a conference in San Antonio earlier this year. Thanks to Jade Fulce, Installation Management Command fellow with Fort Bliss Garrison Public Affairs, the newest playground on Fort Bliss is surrounded by these trees. Pandy stressed the importance of having trees on the playgrounds.
"It's not only what you can get out of it now, it's what you can get five years from now," he said. "The trees will grow and provide shade for this entire area."