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Ormond Beach Observer Wednesday, Feb. 13, 2013 7 years ago

Project ROMP starts construction, to finish playground in seven days


It will take seven days, and the work of many volunteers, to complete the new Magic Forest Rainbow Playground, off Nova Road.


Volunteers showed up for different reasons, and with different skills, but they all had the same goal in mind:  After seven days, Ormond Beach would have a new park.

“There’s no doubt, 6 p.m. Sunday, kids will be playing on it,” said Lee Archin, cofounder of Play By Design, the company hired to consult on the designing and building of a new Magic Forest Rainbow Park. “It’ll look like it fell out of the sky.”

In order for the new park, 440 N Nova Rd., to be built in just seven days, Archin said they had to set up a miniature factory line, for prefabrication.

Since almost every part of the new park will be custom-built, the elements, including a pirate ship and tree house, arrived in Ormond Beach as raw wood, to be cut and sanded by volunteers.

As soon as a board is smooth and taken from a sanding table, another replaces it. To save time, boards are cut before they're even needed, in order for everything to be completed at the same time — similar to "an old-fashioned barn-raising," Archin says.

This is what contributes to the community’s sense of ownership over the park. Many of the people who donated money will also donate time, and will eventually be the ones playing with their children on a park they helped put together.

And Project ROMP is still actively seeking volunteers, as well — since construction requires 50-60 volunteers per shift, through Sunday.

But already, the project has put together a diverse cross-section of workers, all of whom have different reasons for picking up their hammers.

One volunteer, Greg McMulli, says he's giving his time simply to do his part. Another, Janice Rose, helped build the first Magic Forest Playground, in 1994, and returned Feb. 12, to screw together frames for pieces of the new park.

“I’d like to see the playground keep going,” she said. “A lot of these wooded playgrounds have a lifespan and get torn down.”

But Debbie Kembro, who recently moved to the area and is currently unemployed, volunteered not only to help but also to network, meet new people and get out of the house.

While all of these volunteers, and others, sanded and sawed, Crystal Marino, who lives in Flagler County but works in Ormond Beach, walked around the site with two small children holding “thank you” signs.

Her two eldest kids grew up playing on the original Magic Forest Rainbow Park, she says, and she’s glad that there will be a new, improved park on which her two youngest can now make memories.

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