Floyd Jernigan, City of Rolla, Parks and Recreation director says there are some new playgrounds in Rolla's future. He's got a wish list, so check it out.

What were some of the biggest challenges from your perspective, or from the perspective of your organization as a whole? How do you feel this was overcome?

We have many needs in our Parks System, including a lack of facilities in some of our parks and aging and weather deterioration in others. Thanks to the generosity of Rolla residents and the passage of Prop P, we’ve been able to begin addressing these issues.

On the same line of thinking, what were the biggest accomplishments in your estimation? What contributed to them?

As noted above, Prop P has helped us begin the process of returning a number of our facilities to acceptable conditions.
* New playground and new signage at Larry May Park, located in Ber Juan adjacent to our ballfield complex. This was aided greatly by the involvement and generous donation from the Rolla Junior Club, whose members raised approximately $25,500 for a new playground project. This new structure will replace most of the aging equipment (crawl tube, up/down crawl through, etc.) that was originally installed in fall 1996.
* Tennis court improvements. The tennis court surface was installed in 2003 with a 10-year warranty. It was repainted in 2009. It was due to be resurfaced in 2013-2014 but was delayed due to budget constraints. Restoration has exceeded the normal maintenance cycle by four years. Wind damage in spring 2016 further necessitated the need for renovation.  The improvements involved filling subsurface cracks, reseaming the edges, patching and reinforcing needed areas, removing loose paint, reinstalling the center anchor, and resurfacing and color coating the material.
* Safety improvements on parking lots throughout the parks system, including Veterans’ Park, Buehler, Green Acres, the O Highway lot on the Acorn Trail, Splash Zone, and the tennis courts.
* Structure improvements at Splash Zone including replacing an aging water heater system and shower partitions.
* Playground slide replacements at Schuman, Breuer and Green Acres Parks.

What are you most looking forward to in 2018? What can readers and residents look forward to?

At the Dec. 18 City Council meeting, Council approved a new playground for Green Acres Park for the coming year. We also anticipate funding for a future bathroom there. Our partnership with Rolla Public Schools will help bring to fruition a pair of shade and storage structures for the tennis courts.

We expect additional improvements at Buehler Park during the coming year. We will also be creating a new park for the Ridgeview neighborhood, as the existing park will give way for the new Highway 72 extension.

There are many additional needs in our parks system, with 47 different priorities and counting identified by our citizens during our public open housed that focus on replacing and/or updating other aging playgrounds and structures. We are thankful that our residents have continued their support. As always, we will continue our efforts to be good stewards of these taxpayer funds.