I’m beginning to feel a bit like the Chief of Wallyhood’s Playground Bureau. Just a couple of weeks ago, I reported that the transfer station playground is being redone by the contractor due to some deficiencies in the original construction. And this week, I’m here to report that the Wallingford Playfield, along Wallingford Ave. near 45th, is now closed for renovation.
It closed on November 6, but I hadn’t noticed until a friend mentioned it to me. Jordan posted about it back in May, and Ben followed up with an announcement about a community meeting convened to seek neighborhood input on the $400,000 project. The playfield will be closed until the work is completed sometime this fall or winter.
I passed by a few days ago in time to see an earth mover tearing out the merry-go-round. A statement on what’s being done appears on the Seattle Parks website:
We are installing new play equipment at the Wallingford Play Area, located at the northeast corner of Wallingford Playfield. This project will replace play area equipment due to insect infestation in old equipment. The new play equipment will meet current national safety standards and assure accessibility to children of all abilities, ages 2-5 and 5-12. Access improvements will be made to the play area, if needed, in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
The new playground equipment will be a whole lot more modern than what’s being ripped out. It will include slides, bridges to walk over, stairs to climb, and other such accoutrements of 21st century playgrounds. It’s all at too small a scale for me, but I’m sure the kids will enjoy it. Renderings of the equipment are linked to from the Seattle Parks website if you want to have a look, but I posted one of the images below.
While I was visiting the playfield, I noticed that the athletic field is being replanted with grass. This place turns into a mud wallow every fall. It seems like a great place for some artificial turf, but I’m not sure Seattle Parks is budgeted for that. Until the grass grows a bit, they ask that you not walk on it.
I was interested to note that part of the reason for the playground renovation was insect damage to the equipment. Would that be termites eating the wood, or something else? If your kids have been coming home with itchy britches, perhaps we now know why.