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Local architect helped launch park project
At Doerr-Vernon Park
Doerr Vernon Park 040
Larned High senior Abbey Stanley takes a moment to share a story with a fellow worker at the tennis courts. - photo by JIM MISUNAS Great Bend Tribune

LARNED -- When local architect Tim Schaller was asked to donate his skill with plans for a proposed Splash Pad at Doerr-Vernon Park, he said ‘Yes.’
Angie Murray, local Pride leader, was persuasive.
“When I’m asked to help I always think if we don’t do this -- the project might not get happen,” he said. “Good plans are a good tool to get the project going. Angie Murray is a catalyst who has given a lot of time.”
Schaller and his staff drew up design plans that landed a $125,000 grant from the Kansas Department of Commerce Small Communities Improvement Program. Once that happened, Murray’s dream became a reality.
The playground facilities at Doerr-Vernon Park are being taken out and the park is being transformed into a Splash Pad featuring a Fort Larned Frontier theme.
The donation of time and skill from Schaller Construction employees is valued at several thousand dollars.
“I believe in the saying ‘To Whom Much is Given, Much is Required,’ Schaller said. “Helping out in terms of volunteering is part of my constitution. If I see something I can do, I’m going to help.” 
Schaller has donated similar time and money with design work on a local Humane Society building. He’s helping with a Veterans Memorial design. He also supports a local Life Hunt for youngsters with life-threatening conditions.
“It’s a pretty easy decision when I see other volunteers giving their time,” he said. “It’s about making your community a better place.”
Murray is appreciative of Schaller’s expertise.
“We couldn’t have asked for more help from Tim and Schaller Construction,” she said. “Just today, he moved the park to top priority and sent his crews over to help form the Splash Pad seeing that skilled manpower was needed to keep this piece on schedule.
“From drawing the blueprint to simply working with each committee and answering questioning or giving advice regarding structural design or safety issues, he’s been an absolute blessing to the project.”
Schaller crews will be on site Thursday to make sure all the pieces are in place for the Splash Pad work.
Eakin Construction crews are in the process of excavation work. Hutton Construction and Eakin Concrete will work with chairman Charlie Haas to form and pour a walking trail that is 1,300 feet long and eight-feet wide Thursday and Friday.
The public is invited to help with Extreme Makeover, The Playground Edition Saturday and Sunday.
The Hutton crews will be assisted by The Larned Chamber Ambassadors, who will provide more than 50 employees April 9-10.
Meals provided from area churches and free day-care will be offered from 8 a.m. to noon on Saturdays. Work schedules are 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Saturdays and 1 to 5 p.m. Sundays.