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Tot Lot Playground in Anthem Community Park closed for renovations

7/7/16

Elizabeth Medora
Staff

ANTHEM – The littlest residents of Anthem will be enjoying a completely redone playground this fall. The Tot Lot Playground in the Anthem Community Park is closed for remodeling as of July 1 and will reopen after demolition of the current structures and assembly of new structures. The construction is expected to take about three months.

The Tot Lot Playground is an original park amenity, and it’s now 16 years old. According to the ACC staff, the wood play features have deteriorated and need to be replaced, and the swings at this playground have already been removed, due to maintenance and safety issues.

In a community news release sent out last week, ACC Community Operations Officer Neal Shearer noted that the new Tot Lot will include four new swings.

“Swings are among the most requested playground features in Anthem, yet it is difficult to find space for new swings because of the large ‘fall zones’ that are required by today’s playground safety standards," said Shearer in the release. “We are pleased that we can fit four new swings in the expansion area west of the existing playground, including a ‘generation swing’ for two and a ‘therapeutic swing’ with a harness seat.”

ACC staff presented the ACC Board of Directors with a full report on the proposed renovation at the June 22 meeting. In a memo from ACC staff to the Board, staff members noted that the Tot Lot has been scheduled to be renovated this year, as a budgeted Reserve fund project.

“The Reserve Fund budget for this project is $75,000, which would allow for a limited scale playground renovation, but would not be sufficient to include many of the features that residents have requested,” the memo states. “Over the past year, staff talked with numerous playground users to get their feedback on what they would like to see in the renovated playground and the most common requests included: more shade, benches, picnic tables and swings, rubberized playground surfacing and fencing surrounding the entire playground. Playground users also prefer the playground to be dedicated to the smaller kids, which is why the playground equipment will be designed for ages 2-5. The current playground has become popular with this age group, and Adventure Playground serves all youth ages.”

In last week’s news release, it was reported that the ACC Board authorized staff to proceed at a cost not to exceed $120,000, plus the use of BrightView credits for landscaping improvements and new sand. Project funding will be procured from the reserve funds that have been budgeted for the playground’s renovation, in addition to with BrightView credits; ACC Parks and Facilities staff will be performing much of the demolition and installation work, which will help lower costs.

Renderings of the new playground structures haven’t been released yet; the new playground is reported to include all new play structures, new picnic tables under shade trees, rubberized surfacing, and a new five-foot safety fence with gates surrounding the Tot Lot.

To see more about the plans, view the June 22 ACC Board documents at www.onlineatanthem.com/anthem-community-council-meeting-agendas-minutes; select the June 22 information.