Some families got a surprise this past weekend when they tried to use ’s playground only to find an empty space of dirt and rocks.
A sign erected where the play structure and swing set once stood said the park is undergoing renovations.
The swing set was taken down for refurbishing and a brand new play structure will go up at the end of the summer.
But why do it in the middle of the season?
“It’s going to be an inconvenience at any time,” said Mayor Don Brauckmann, also the director of parks and recreation. “There’s never really a good time to do [it]. But there’s a higher volume of people in the parks in the spring and fall. And we can’t construct this in the winter.”
With organized sports at Memorial Park at its slowest during August, Brauckmann said the construction of the new play structure should be finished in September.
A play structure complete with four slides and two bridges has been in storage for a few years, said Brauckmann, waiting to be erected at the park. The mayor, who wasn’t on committee when the structure was purchased with capital funds, said the township wanted to wait to put it up when other construction would be going on.
And a few years ago, Brauckmann said the structure wasn’t in the shape it is now.
“It’s gotten to the condition where it’s dilapidated,” Brauckmann said. “It’s in dire need of [replacement]. There are missing components all over it. It’s not really feasible to fix it. The natural course is you take it out and replace it.”
Now that from the county freeholders, upgrades to the park’s bathroom and concession stand will take place this fall.
In addition to the new structure, the six-person swing set will be refurbished and put in place along with new benches or picnic tables. The .
Before that can be done, the empty space needs to be graded and cleaned. That, along with the swing set, will be done in-house. The actual construction of the structure will be outsourced and cost around $5,000—which is coming from the second round of grant money the township was awarded.
“We’re trying to get it done as fast as we can do it,” Brauckmann said. “We felt it was a good time to get it done now. There’s going to be some construction going on and we hope our residents understand. And we’ll have a beautiful new structure.”
To see a drawing of the new structure, click on the photo to the right.