New fiberglass playground equipment is expected to arrive at Moody Park at Longacre by the end of this month and open to the public by next month.
Fairview Heights Parks and Recreation District Director Angela Beaston said the new equipment includes parts made of a more durable concrete substance that will last longer and need less maintenance.
"Over time, playgrounds should be replaced around every 15 years because requirements change for safety and all different regulations," Beaston said. "Every 15 years, your playground should be phased out so you can continue to comply with safety standards."
The new equipment will take the place of an older, wooden playground structure that was built in 1995 just north of the pond at the park. The Fairview Heights Parks and Recreation District dismantled the wooden structure in November because the wood had since splintered and had caused injuries.
The city has budgeted $377,000 from capital improvement funds for the new equipment, which is scheduled to arrive on Aug. 26. The new playground will have a nature theme. An 8-foot-tall concrete tree with a tree house will be the focal point. Slides and Swings will literally branch off the concrete tree. Other equipment will include a 5-by-5-foot concrete "anthill" for climbing and a 3-by-6-foot concrete "log" that children can crawl through. Plans also include new sidewalks and retaining walls.
On Tuesday night, the City Council approved a purchase agreement with Cunningham Recreation for rubberized playground turf surface to be laid beneath the new playground equipment. It will replace the mulch surface that was beneath the former wooden playground. Mulch will still laid under a swing set and a ropes course to be built near the new equipment.
Also at the park, new artificial turf has been installed at the handicap-accessible ball field. The field is Catch 22 Miracle Field, named for St. Louis Cardinals manager Mike Matheny's Catch 22 Foundation, which helped fund the project. Beaston said the initial surface that covered the ball field buckled and caused creases in the surface.
"The turf was defective," she said. "They tried repairing that every time, but it continued to buckle."
The new playing surface is in place and will remain in place year round.
New rest rooms are also under construction next to the field that will also be accessible to those with physical disabilities.
Contact reporter Will Buss at firstname.lastname@example.org or 239-2526.