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Griesblog


It’s time to fix the original playground. We want your input

Please join us on Monday, June 11 from 7-8:30 p.m. at Major General Griesbach School for a special meeting to hold a membership vote on the future of the original playground structure.

For the past year, Griesbach Community League has been exploring the possibility of keeping some version of the original school’s playground, that would be the one in the southeast corner of Maple Leaf Park. It is now time to move forward with the project.

While the wooden playground structure and the green metal climbing dome have to be removed due to safety concerns, the blue-and-yellow structure can remain with a few repairs.

The community league is also looking at the option of adding new equipment to the area where the wooden structure and the climbing dome currently sit. This could be basic swings, disc swings, another play structure, or a climbing merry-go-round.

Proposed disc swing option.

Keeping some of the original playground will also require repairs and upgrades, including:

  • Removal and replacement of all three slides on main structure including the one currently missing.
  • Removal of the wooden play structure and the installation of a large new two- or three-bay set of disc swings, or a merry-go-round, in its place (dependant on required space and costs).
  • Removal of the green metal climbing dome.
  • Removal of all the existing wooden curbing and the replacement with all new wooden curbing.
  • Removal of existing sand and replacement with new sand and/on engineered wood fiber (as in new playground base).
  • Removal of the old bench and the installation of two new benches and bases.
  • The installation of two or three TBD spinning/bouncing pieces, as space allows.
  • Land regraded and re-sodded as needed for proper grading.
  • All equipment checked for structural and safety. Repaired as necessary.

Proposed merry-go-round climber.

Cost

The City of Edmonton has determined a cost estimate of $78,700, plus or minus 30 per cent. This would include all the repairs required and the installation of a two-bay disc swing set and three new slides. Any extra spinners and benches are approximately $2,500 each.

Funding

Edmonton Public Schools, which currently owns the playground property, has agreed to pay for much of the demolition and removal costs. This will greatly reduce any costs incurred by the Griesbach community. Edmonton Public Schools will remove the existing wooden playground equipment and metal dome, clean and remove existing sand surfacing, remove the existing bench, remove and regrade sod and install a safety fence during this process. This part of the process is expected to take between three to five days.

Griesbach Community League will cover the cost of new benches and equipment. The community league was very successful in receiving additional funding for the new playground and has enough money remaining to cover the majority, if not all, of the cost of this project, without affecting any other future projects.

Additional considerations

  • Weeping tile: The city has determined there is likely weeping tile under the newer structure area however the city has cautioned that if water collects in the area we may need to pay for a crew to pump it out. This cost is not significant, however, and has not been noticed previously.
  • Partial removal of old equipment and curbing: GCL and the city are looking for this cost to be covered by the EPSB as currently they are responsible for the entire playground’s removal and a partial is likely much cheaper. This cost was not included in the estimate and may add to GCL’s total cost in the unlikely event we cannot manage an agreement. This cost will be determined prior to final approval.
  • Although the playground will be fully inspected during this project, the city has estimated the life expectancy of the metal structure at seven years, as they are unsure how long parts will remain available. That stated, it could last much longer, but they do not want to guarantee this.
  • Major General Griesbach School likely will not use this play area during regular hours, however it will be available all other times.
  • GCL may be responsible for any future removal of the equipment, if required. This cost could be offset by grants, funding and the installation of any future equipment in its place, or by donating it to an organization who will remove it at their cost.
  • The new playground end up costing almost $800,000. The cost of refurbishing and upgrading the original playground would be about 1/10 of that cost.
  • The area adjacent to this playground was suggested as a potential spot for an outdoor rink, a community hall, or other future capital projects, so having a playground adjacent could be a benefit. We have already saved the original parking lot alongside the playground and may look to add items such as ball hockey, bicycle training circles, pickleball court lines, etc.
  • Many parents whose children play sports on Griesbach fields feel there is a need for this structure to remain as it is close for other children to play on during sports events.

The property is currently owned and maintained by the Edmonton Public School Board, however the land it is on will be turned over to the City of Edmonton for parkland to complete a land exchange for the new school location.

The Griesbach Community League has been working closely with The City of Edmonton, The Edmonton Public School Board and Coun. Bev Esslinger on this project. Now we are ready for your input.

Please join us at Major General Griesbach School on Monday, June 11 at 7 p.m., or email your ideas or concerns to original_playground@griesbachcommunity.com before June 11.