Ground has been broken on the new Kinder Park in Fairmont City, Illinois, in a ceremony attended by NASCAR, Gateway Motorsports Park and City officials and local business partners. The park should be ready to play by fall.
Officials at neighboring Gateway Motorsports Park and other area organizations are working to bring life back into a playground that hasn’t been updated since the 1950s.
“The children of Fairmont are in serious need of a safe, playful, happy park where they can forget about everything except being a kid,” said Fairmont City Mayor Alex J. Bregen. “Kinder Park is a great neighborhood park that has incredible potential for fun if we can provide a little bit of love to it.” The 15,810-square-foot park is located at the corner of Kinder Street and Cohn Avenue.
Known as the “city of good neighbors,” Fairmont City has a population of about 3,000 people and boasts the highest percentage of Hispanics in the entire St. Louis Metropolitan area, with 71 percent of the population of Hispanic descent according to the 2010 census. The city sits adjacent to Cahokia Mounds and is only about five minutes from downtown St. Louis. More than 25 percent of the city’s children live below the poverty line.
Jay Hoffman, member of the Illinois House of Representatives told Gateway Motorsports Park owner Curtis Francois about Kinder Park and the need for new, safe playground equipment after Francois mentioned his desire to give back to the community. “Children of all economic backgrounds need fun, safe, exciting places to play,” said Francois. “When I learned about Kinder Park, I called the folks a few business associates and asked for their support. They jumped in willing and ready to assist with this need, and here we are today ready to get this playground rebuilt.”
"We are proud to see Gateway Motorsports Park continue to play a leading role in their community and in motorsports with this important project,” said NASCAR Senior Vice President of Racing Operations Jim Cassidy. “The people in the St. Louis region are incredible motorsports fans, and this initiative is a win for the entire community.”
NASCAR driver German Quiroga, from Mexico City will be attending the groundbreaking. Quiroga will pilot the No. 11 Red Horse Racing Toyota Tundra in Saturday’s Drivin’ for Lineman 200 (8:30 p.m. ET on FS1). Tickets are available at www,gatewaymsp.com or by calling (618) 215-8888.
In addition to Gateway Motorsports Park and several local companies have stepped up to support the park renovation including L. Keeley & Sons, Inc. of East St. Louis, IMPACT Strategies of Fairview Heights, and enVisionONE of Columbia, Iron Workers Local 392 of East St. Louis, and the Fairmont City Police Athletic League. The playground will undergo a complete facelift including new grass and landscaping, a new basketball court, two swing sets, a new playground set, rubber mulch, benches and picnic-style tables, a new 20-by-16 foot pavilion, handicap-accessible parking spaces, and bicycle parking racks for a total investment of more than $100,000.
For more information, contact Gateway Motorsports Park at (618) 215-8888 or visit www.gatewaymsp.com. Follow Gateway Motorsports Park on Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat and Instagram.
The vision for the new Gateway Motorsports Park is to create a racing lifestyle that attracts enthusiasts, professionals, amateurs and car lovers by harnessing the energy and passion of the thousands of racing fans in the heart of the Midwest.
Located just five minutes from downtown St. Louis and covering nearly 200 acres, Gateway is the largest outdoor entertainment facility in the region, encompassing a ¼-mile NHRA-sanctioned drag strip, 1.25-mile superspeedway, 1.6- mile road course, a state-of-the-art Karting facility and a new 14-acre, multi-purpose dirt off-road venue.