Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Vanderbilt Playground Planning Update!

The playground is really located in Windsor Terrace but since many local parents walk to it we wanted to give you the update we spotted on the KWT yahoo group.

$1.8 million has been allocated to this project, much of it raised by Council Member Bill de Blasio. Several designs were presented, all of which will retain the same exterior entrance to the Park on Vanderbilt (although the entrance to the playground varied) and repairing of the sidewalk, keeping the vegetative perimeter and all healthy existing trees, keeping the same type of swings (bucket-style only) and possibly adding seating, and incorporating new and larger play equipment with an area for older kids on the West end and for toddlers at the East end (each with a water feature). Proposed were a woodland theme as well as a lake theme. Some of the plans included wooden decking. The BBQ area currently right next to the playground will be moved somewhere else in the park.

The older kids area: Their play structure will probably be made of a cord-like material which is custom-ordered with bridges, areas for climbing, etc. Also proposed was a flat disc which is installed on a tilt and kids can climb on it and spin it, and a large orb which children can climb on. The older kids area water feature will probably include a large bronze structure (similar to the structures at the 9th Street and Imagination playgrounds), spraying structures, and a shallow canal where the water will funnel and which can be played in.

The tot area: This will probably have a traditional tot structure and a gate enclosing the area. Their water feature will probably have a 30” high bronze wall which drips water and has textures built into it. It possibly will have holes cut into it so children can stick their hands through as the water drips on them.

There will not be any sand (which damages the surfaces and is hard to keep clean) nor swings for older kids (not enough room). There was a request for interactive aspects, similar to what has been installed at Greenwood playground, but there is a problem with those kinds of features breaking. Also there is a possibility of installing game tables.

The project is planned to begin mid-Winter 2008/2009. Since the park is landmarked, there are extra reviews which the project must pass. The Alliance designers will do a schematic design and in mid-October will come back to the community with plans as well as video of the proposed play equipment being used. If you wish to notified about that meeting, please contact Jackie Medina (718 965-8946), the Alliance’s Community Outreach person.