Last February, three-quarters of the primary play structure at Legion Memorial Park was destroyed by arson. The event took place on February 9th, and though police knew the fire was intentional, the investigation was closed before a suspect could be apprehended. Since then, the sad, charred sight has been cordoned off from the remaining portions of the park, but that is now changing.
Long gone are the days of bare steel monkeybars and plank teeter-totters rising over aggragate concrete, as they were when I was a child on the playground. These days, play structures are carefully planned, from design and inception at the manufacturer to their placement for enjoyment. Each component is customizable, and placement is only allowed only after fall height recommendations are complemented by corresponding cushion, and the radius of the fall zone is calculated.
According to a press release from the City of Everett, the “new design schematic reveals plenty of climbing opportunities, accessible ramps, slides and interactive spaces to encourage safe, creative physical play for a wide range of ages and abilities.” In addition, the design “features natural, park-like colors that complement the surrounding landscape.”
The prior structure had been put in place in 1998, to the tune of $100,000.00. In our slightly new modern era, the cost to replace is just about $175,000.00, but this included a new ‘tot lot’ and playground footprint as well as the replacement of the ruined model. The new layout will include some of the old, including the climbing bugs, bouncy features, swings and merry-go-round.
The damages piece should be removed by mid-June, with the new pieces going into place as early as July, with the hope to wrap it all up in time for August, so children and parents can hopefully enjoy the new playground with the last of their summer break.
(Image courtesy of City of Everett official page)