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Volunteers sought to rebuild Troutdale park that was destroyed by fire two years ago.

Imagination Station, Troutdale's signature playground next to Reynolds High School, will be reconstructed sooner than expected.

The playground contractor, Leathers & Associates, found a break in their schedule and offered to move development up to late June from August, devoting the entire month of July to construction.

"If we get an opportunity to move something up, we're going to take it," said City Manager Ray Young. "This is charging at us faster than we thought."

The city is recreating the playground after one third of the original structure was destroyed by an arson fire in April 2016.

The new structure will be called Imagination Station II. The parks committee and City Council selected L&A for the construction at a cost of about $800,000.

Moving up the construction date created a need for the city to recruit volunteers. So the city hired Kimberly Carl as Troutdale's temporary part-time volunteer coordinator. Her job is solely focused on gathering volunteers for the rebuild.

Throughout the reconstruction process, volunteers will disassemble the original playground, move boxes of equipment and work to salvage items.

Young explained that Leathers & Associates has a system to utilize volunteers.

Troutdale Public Works Director Tim Seery said city employees will erect a fence around the structure on Wednesday, June 13, with deconstruction set for the following weekend. Later in June, workers and volunteers will begin removing items.

The city is creating a sign up sheet for those interested in parts from the playground. Workers will help load items when those interested show up to the site with a truck or trailer.

Construction of Imagination Station II will begin by late June.

"Excitement is growing," Seery said. "It's just the community getting the people together, and seeing it come together after two years. It's for the kids — that's the biggest thing."

Seery called the playground fully inclusive as it will be handicap accessible, and a large fun spot to visit.

"I've been calling it a destination playground," Seery said. "They'll come from miles (around)."

For more information about the park, visit www.ci.troutdale.or.us/parks-facilities/imaginationstationrestoration.html.

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