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That fancy metal fence is for kids

What’s the story behind the fancy metal fence around part of the lawn next to the old Carnegie library building?

— J.N., Medford

That metal fence will one day keep kids safe inside a playground, J.N.

Kid Time, a local organization that offers a variety of activities for children to play and learn while being monitored by parents and employees, has been renovating the building to make it the organization’s new headquarters.

Kid Time is currently located at the corner of Central Avenue and Sixth Street in downtown Medford in a building that also houses the Southern Oregon Historical Society.

“We’re still moving ahead with our move,” said Sunny Spicer, executive director of Kid Time. “But the scope of the project has dramatically changed.”

During the legislative session earlier this year, a $2 million grant for the organization failed to materialize after Republicans walked out again.

The grant and other funding from donations has left Kid Time about $2.7 million short.

“Some of the work we planned to do will be kicked down the road,” Spicer said. “A lot of donors had to pull back on pledges.

She said every board and piece of plywood is being reused as much as possible to save money.

“We will be relying a lot on in-kind donations,” she said.

She said more fundraising will occur over the next year and a half to make all the improvements to the building, which is being leased from the city of Medford for $1 a year.

Her organization is awaiting word from state officials that would offer guidelines for the reopening of a hands-on museum.

Because of the funding problems, she said the museum is at least two months away from reopening anyway. A preschool program could open up by late August, Spicer said.

The fence that you’re talking about, J.N., actually surrounds a discovery garden that will be more of a nature-type playground with climbing boulders and other hands-on experiences for children, Spicer said.

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