Laurium Village increases accessibility

New swing and picnic table to come at Gipp recreational area

Graham Jaehnig/ Daily Mining Gazette Laurium’s Public Works Dept. is installing a handicap swing and picnic at the George Gipp Recreation Area on Isle Royale Street. The upgrades will include cement pads for the swing and picnic table and a cement sidewalk to parking space.

LAURIUM — The Village Planning Commission is conducting a village survey to help with the Laurium Village Master Plan and requests residents to respond as soon as possible. The survey, which can be found on the Laurium Village webpage, laurium.net. It can also be found on the Laurium Village Facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/villageoflaurium, or a paper copy can be picked up at the Village Hall.

The Laurium Planning Commission is looking for your input on what you want to see (or not see) happening in the village over the next few years. A survey was enclosed in the tax bills that can be scanned onto your phone. All printed surveys should be completed and returned to the village office no later than August 31st.

Village President John Sullivan said the village has contracted with Beckett & Raeder to assist the village in creating a Master Plan, and the planning survey is an important part of that goal.

“The planning survey is just to see where the village is and where they want to be,” he said. “It’s very important that the Laurium residents take that survey — it takes about 10 minutes, it’s 20 questions or so — and there’s a section at the end where they can add their own comments.”

Beckett & Raeder Inc. is a multi-disciplinary firm providing landscape architecture, engineering, planning and environmental services to municipalities, including downtowns, and parks; college and universities; K-12 education, and corporations, states the company’s website.

Laurium’s neighbor, Calumet Village, recently contracted with the same company to assist its planning commission with updating and re-writing the village zoning ordinance.

As Laurium looks forward, work has begun on the installation of a handicapped-accessible swing and a picnic table at the George Gipp Recreation Area, on Isle Royale Street. The swing is intended to help special needs children enjoy and participate in outdoor play within the community.

The swing and picnic table will include a a cement walkway and platform for easy access.

Sullivan said the Laurium Dept. of Public Works (DPW) has already begun preparing the ground for the swing.

“They’re waiting for the concrete truck to come in and stabilize the swing and lay the pad for it.”

The handicap accessible picnic table, he said is back ordered and is expected between mid-Sept. and early Oct. but in the meantime, the ground for it is also waiting for concrete.

In addition, a cement sidewalk will be constructed between the parking lot and the swing and the picnic table.

“The DPW guys here in Laurium are going to put it in a gravel parking spot for handicapped kids,” said Sullivan. “That’s the idea right now.”

Sullivan said the picnic table and the swing were purchased through a Portage Health Foundation Grant to help support physical activity and the foundation’s long-term sustainability goals of healthy living.

The cement walkway and platform were made possible by The Knights of Columbus Council 1245 with a donation of $965.77 from their annual Tootsie Roll Drive.

“We are so thankful for the partnership with the Portage Health Foundation, and for their collaboration in making this happen,” Village Trustee, Amy Schneiderhan, said. “We are always looking for opportunities to upgrade the playground equipment at the park and this was one way to make that happen.”

“We are extremely grateful to the Knights of Columbus for their generosity and collaboration,” said Sullivan.

For more information on the survey and the recreation area project, please visit Laurium.net or call the Village office at 906-337-1600


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