A Childhood to Remember Memorial Splash Park has gone through the early planning stages. It is now time to take what the committee has composed on paper, and turn it into a reality. The planning stages has taken a total of three months to accurately address timing, sitting/sizing, cost, potential funding, and community research for the park. Once those issues were calculated and discussed, then the additional issues of which park elements will be used, security, and maintenance of the splash park was addressed.
The proposal of Memorial Splash Park has been presented to the board, as well as all research in regards to cost, sitting, sizing, funding options, equipment/labor needed, security, maintenance, and community surveys. The proposal was voted 6 to 1 in favor of construction of Memorial Splash Park. I, and the committee, have to decide to break ground September 4th, 2012 and complete construction exactly four months from the date. A brief, but detailed, account will be given as to the steps taken over the four months to get the park up and running.
Planned Cost of Construction Before construction could begin, total cost had to be calculated for Memorial Splash Park. Once every aspect of the planning stage was researched and gathered, C. Faye (assigned committee member to calculating cost) used this equation to the overall cost of project = Cost of playground equipment + Cost of installation + Cost of surfacing + Cost of design fees, grading, landscaping, and other expenses = Total project cost or budget (Ruth, 2008). This basic equation will help the project stay within budget and the time frame set.
Month 1: Underground Work Before any park elements could be laid down, the old foundation of the area selected had to be broken up and the Earth dug up to view the current pipe and drainage system (see appendix diagram 1). It was the determined that minimal issues had to be addressed to make the pipe and drainage system adequate to serve the needs of the splash park. What saved a great deal on time was the fact 4 in. PVC pipes (not metal) were in place. Once the minor issues were addressed, the system was tested and inspected; it was passed by the city’s lead structural engineer. This initial process took a total of two weeks to complete.
Now that the proper pipe/drainage system is in place, foundation has been laid in the respective areas for the full basketball court and water area. These areas required a special concrete blend. The playground area foundation will be composed of a shock absorbing material that will help make that area safe. To reduce the risk of injury due to falls, playground equipment should be located above a shock-absorbing, or safety surface (Ruth, 2008). It is imperative that children safety be first and foremost. The laying of foundation on each specialized area took two weeks.
So the total process correcting pipe/drainage system to laying the foundation was one month. Month 2: Playground Construction Once the foundation has properly dried and been tested, it was decided to start piecing together the playground area (see appendix diagram Playground Area). After much consideration, it was agreed upon going with pressure-treated wood with a hint of durable recycled plastic over galvanized steel and aluminum. It will give the area a modern yet familiar feel. We decided to go with the equipment manufacturer’s option of a community build. This helped save 25% of the cost of the playground.
The community build allowed for the community to come together to erect and assemble the play structure. The manufacturer even provided assistance to help organize a successful “Build Week”, and also trained supervisors to oversee the work. This assembly of the playground area took a total of two and a half weeks, and the remainder of the month was left to rigorous testing of the structure. Month 3: Splash Area Construction, so far, has gone as planned, until a three straight days of rain occurred. This pushed back the start of the splash area (see appendix diagram Splash Area) by a week.
This part of the process did not include the community involvement and was completed by the hired construction crew plus a structural engineer. The elements of the splash park include galvanized steel parts to make the different structures that water will shoot, spray, and pour down. Also, during the laying of the foundation process, holes were made in order to allow for water to shoot up from the ground, allow for the placement of made structures, and to drain the water out. The different colors chosen were to help bring about good vibes and fun times. Once every structure was composed, it was set and mounted in its’ respective place.
The process took four week exactly and passed the structural engineer’s approval. Month 4: Basketball Court Area And Clean Up The construction of the splash area went over by a week due to rain. This left three weeks left until Memorial Splash Park was completed. The last thing was finishing the full court basketball area (see appendix diagram Basketball Court) and cleaning up before the grand opening. The court was left for last because it will take the least amount of time to complete. First thing that was done was to surface the court with lights. The surfacing process took no more than three days.
Lastly the court was lined and painted and allowed to dry. The basketball court construction was completed in a week and a half. The final week and a half was left to an intense community cleanup, with proper disposal, and reevaluations of each area. Each area was again passed and what could be recycled was indeed. Additional Structures and Services As each area was built, there were also a specified amount of benches, three medium covered picnic areas, grills, and a mile walking circle enclosing the park added. These additional structures will assist in appealing to every one of all ages.
The committee left no stone unturned when planning out Memorial Splash Park. Additional services must be provided to keep the park in pristine condition and safe for the patrons. Maintenance will be done quarterly by the Park and Recreation Department for the city. They will be accompanied by a structural engineer to ensure the structures have not been compromised by nature (severe thunder, hail, and rain storms) or defaced. Also the park will be opened from 8:00am to 10:00pm and will have two plain clothed armed security guards on duty during those times.
The security guards are there to eliminate sexual predators, bullying, gang activity, and fighting. We want everybody to be able to come and have a great time without worrying about anything. Conclusion Memorial Splash Park opened to great reviews seven months after a small committee came together to make a change. A community barbeque/splash day was held and everybody was invited. The overall goal was to provide a safe and free place where children and families can enjoy themselves. The construction process was broken down over four months, with each month dedicated to the building of a specific area.
Each structure brought about its own set of challenges, from making sure proper pipe/drainage system was in order to dealing with the elements. The project managed to stay on budget and within the time frame allotted. Memorial Splash Park would not have been the success it is with the involvement of the community. They helped with the building of the playground area as well as the cleanup. Memorial Splash Park was born out of the need to return fun to the children of the community as well as bring the community together. All it takes is few willing minds to do something bigger than them.
Courtney from Study Moose
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