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Boys and Girls Club of Aiken getting new playground

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Kids at the Salvation Army Boys and Girls Club of Aiken will soon have a new place to play.

A new playground will be installed behind the club, located at 640 Laurens St. N.W., on Aug. 24. The playground is being built by KABOOM!, a nonprofit organization focused on ending "playspace inequity" in a partnership with Belk.

Local businesses D.R. Horton, Lowe's and JE Stewart Builders are preparing the site for the playground.

Richard and Gary Seigler grew up in Aiken and said the area is near and dear to their hearts. They now both work with D.R. Horton.

"It's nice to be able to give back to the community," Richard Seigler said.

"It's great to have a place for kids to come," Gary Seigler said.

The initial plan for building the playground was for the community to come out during the week of Aug. 24 and help build it. With the coronavirus pandemic, however, KABOOM! is sending a professional company to install it and intends to finish in one day.

Harvey Krape, president-elect of the Aiken Kiwanis Club, has helped with the project and said the goal isn't just to have a playground. There will also be benches and trees to provide shade.

"We want it to be somewhere for families to come," Krape said.

Krape also said there are plans to eventually add a soccer field and a swing set.

"We feel having a playground built especially for our community, with their needs in mind, would provide hope and build stronger families for the future," said Samantha Cheatham, executive director of the Salvation Army Boys and Girls Club of Aiken, in a statement. "Children would have a safe and healthy option to occupy their time and energy."

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