The Dragonfly and all of his friends could be ready for a play date next spring, city officials say.

This month workers are finishing installation of the Dragonfly piece which will include slides and climbing ropes. Five other playable art pieces are slated for installation.

The Dragonfly should be finished by the end of September and the other pieces should be installed next spring, according to city spokeswoman Sharon Kraun.

Sandy Springs City Council recently awarded the contract for Phase IV of the Abernathy Greenway Linear Park, the project that will include the playable art. City Manager John McDonough said Phase IV includes walking paths and lighting for the parking lot. McDonough predicts the park could be ready by spring or early summer.

Council members expect big things from the art that’s being donated to the city, predicting it will become an area attraction.

Councilman Chip Collins said the council pushed back the park opening from the fall of 2012 because of work along Brandon Mill Road.

Cheri Morris, president of Art Sandy Springs, said the Georgia Department of Transportation needed more time to finish improving Brandon Mill Road, which will be finished by late January 2013. She said the group made the decision to delay the opening until the weather warmed and to tie in with the group’s annual arts festival.

“We are planning to move the park opening to spring and tie in to ArtSSpring,” Morris said. “Actually we are looking at May 18 because that is the last weekend of ArtSSpring and it is ‘National Kids to Parks Day.’ So we’re working with each of the artists regarding what is best for their particular sculpture. Some were happy to have a little more time.”

Peggy Allen, spokeswoman for Art Sandy Springs, said the group is eager to see the park opened. She said the delays have caused organizers to adjust their timing. The Dragonfly sculpture is being built on site while the other pieces are being assembled and then shipped to Sandy Springs.

“We’re still excited,” Allen said. “Certainly we’re ready to keep it moving.”

The six pieces of “playable art” were chosen from a group of more than 120 entries judged by a jury that included art critic Jerry Cullum; Susan Krause, chair of sculpture at the Savannah College of Art and Design in Atlanta; and Michelle Savant, associate conservator of objects for the High Museum of Art. Northside Hospital is giving the Sandy Springs Conservancy money to pay for the artwork. The conservancy works to create and promote green spaces in the city.

Dan Whisenhunt

Dan Whisenhunt wrote for Reporter Newspapers from 2011 - 2014. He is the founder and editor of