By: Sharon Aron Baron
After 20 years of running the successful Safety Town program out of a triple-wide trailer, city officials hope that they will soon get a permanent building.
Safety Town is a comprehensive early childhood, hands-on safety education program designed to introduce all types of safety situations to children between the ages of 4½ and 6½. It started in 1995 in a trailer that was supposed to be temporary but outlasted time, as well as Hurricane Wilma and a few tropical storms along the way. Besides the leaks in the roof, the rotted floor had to be replaced with plywood.
Parks and Recreation Director Rick Engle insists that the trailer is safe and meets code, but it needs to be replaced before something goes wrong. “We don’t want to cancel the program.”
Engle says that the city is looking at different funding sources to build it through grants and bonds.
The new building would be constructed behind the trailer, which would then be removed to make room for more parking spaces required by code.
Engle said that the new building would have plenty of room for the Kiwanis Club and the nine other nonprofits that use it. Inside, it will have an office, equipment space, kitchenette, and a classroom. The classroom will be able to be divided into two sections with sliding partitions.
Safety Town of Coral Springs is a nonprofit organization sponsored by the Kiwanis Club of Coral Springs in cooperation with the City of Coral Springs, the Police and Fire Departments.
It is estimated that thousands of young children have graduated from the summer Safety Town programs. And each year, nearly 3,000 kindergarten children benefit from the Safety Town for Kindergartners program sponsored by the Coral Springs Police Department and is now available to every elementary school in Coral Springs and Parkland on an annual basis.