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RCA Park Opens In Bloomington With New Playground

  • Children play on a playground

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    Photo: Christina Ojeda

    Children play on the newly-built RCA Park playground.

  • boy at park

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    Photo: Christina Ojeda

    A boy sits in a play device at the RCA Community Park.

  • mothers with children on swings

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    Photo: Christina Ojeda

    Two mothers push their daughters on the swings at the RCA Community Park, which opened Tuesday.

  • boy at park

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    Photo: Christina Ojeda

    A boy hits on a piece of play equipment that makes different noises depending on where it is struck.

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    Photo: Bill Shaw/WTIU News

    Parents play with their children at RCA Community Park on July 16, 2013.

RCA Community Park in Bloomington officially opened Tuesday after Mayor Mark Kruzan and other city officials participated in a ribbon cutting ceremony.

The park, formerly known as Thomson Community Park, first opened in the early 1990s. Then, in 2009, it was renamed RCA Community Park after an electronics plant that used to own the land.

Gilbert Apple is a former RCA plant manager and says the city’s most recent upgrades have completely transformed the area.

“We were here when it was first facilitated and it was kind of a bare bones thing as compared to today,” he says. “I think the city has done a wonderful job and I think that the kids and even the parents will enjoy this facility as it is today. And I’m just amazed at the difference when I was the age of the youngsters you see here in what we had for a park.”

The city used a $206,500 Community Development Block Grant to build a new playground, including an eight-swing swingset, a rubber tile surfacing and new concrete sidewalks.

Bloomington Parks and Recreation Director Mick Renneisen says the new amenities are already drawing in people from around the city and region.

“What we’re hoping here is more for the community to grow around the parks. So more residential than business development in this area,” he says. “But redevelopment can means things different than your typical interpretation of can is spur business growth. Anytime you attract people to an area of a community, you’re spurring economic activity of some kind and here this was just really a needed amenity.”

Renneisen says city officials also hope connect the park to other trails in the city sometime in the near future.

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