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Action at Jackson Says Park

Jackson Park work is a welcome sight for many, especially its many supporters and those who look forward to using the park when it opens in spring.

 

Crews, equipment and turf excavation at  are laying the foundation for spring recreation.

The hands, dump trucks and soil are a pleasing sight to those who have given the time, labor and cash  — as well as scrap metal — that helped make the project happen.

"We've been saying year after year that we are hoping to see it happen," said project supporter Kevin Donaher.

Now, for the first time, Donaher is seeing action at Jackson.

Others, including the kids Donaher saw hanging around the contruction site last week, have an eye on the progress.

"The kids were sitting there with a basketball and I was thinking: 'This is a place that the kids are going to play,'" he said.

A basketball hoop will join walkways and benches, and landscaping and climbing sets as part of the park's line-up.

Longtime supporter Chris Miles saw the Jackson trucks and crews while driving Paradise Road last week. It felt good.

"I'm dying to take my children on the rope-climbing course," he said.

Jackson, the sequel, has been in the works for four years.

It's a restoration, of sorts.

The land once held ball fields, a skating rink and natural areas. They were lost to high school construction.

Donaher and others fought the school location, and the battle left scars.

The park is a way to leave a positive mark on the neighborhood.

The four-man crew, front loader, excavator and dump trucks doing the site work last week were from contractor Meninno Construction.

The company is scheduled to continue the work this week.

Foreman Tony Kotkowski said that his crew was stripping and cutting out the old loam and replacing it with dense material that will be compacted.

They are also installing new drainage. 

The site work is in preparation for the landscaping, installations, and other work that will take place in early spring before the park opens.

Park supporter Andrew Maylor won't be Swampscott's town administrator then. He starts his new job as North Andover's town manager on Dec. 16.

But seeing the Jackson project underway has meaning for him.

Why?

"Keeping a promise to a neighborhood that lost an important asset when the high school was built," he said.

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