WESTLOCK – Town of Westlock officials say the $200,000 Polymanth Playground refresh should be done by summer’s end, the first in a trio of planned playground projects over the next four years.
At the town’s regular June 13 meeting, community services director Gerry Murphy told councillors that removal of the old equipment at the 108A Avenue and 107th Street playground “will start shortly” as a design has been selected following consultation with schools — the playground site was fenced off in May. The design, which was Option 2, is visually stunning and includes, among other features, a vertical climbing wall, “nu-edge” rock challenge wall, double-wide and wave slides and seven interactive panels.
“We had different outcomes from different schools actually. At the end of the day, I had to go to the umpire process and the giant slide won,” said Murphy.
“And we negotiated with the contractor to include engineered wood fibre as the surfacing, so the sand will come out of there. It has a better protective ability especially from height so it will be included in the project at no extra charge.”
He said the contractor will start work in August, although some of the equipment will show up beforehand, with a tentative ribbon cutting slated for the end of that month — Coun. Jon Kramer asked who’ll be the first person down the slide. The playground design is from Canadian Recreation Solutions, a Sherwood Park based company that has done playground projects across the province — their package to council notes a 15-year warranty on all rigid main play structure plastics, steel and vinyl-coated components.
“I’m being conservative in saying that we should be open by Labour Day. It will be the new destination playground in Westlock, no question,” said Murphy, noting back in December that $200,000 was “about the minimum budget for a playground that would be usable.”
Polymanth is the first of three proposed playground projects, with East Glen Park slated for 2024 and Lions Park in 2026 — the projects were announced in December 2021 as part of the town’s 2022 capital budget.
CAO Simone Wiley previously said the town has done “quite a bit of work in assessing our playgrounds last year” with mayor Ralph Leriger noting that starting with Polymanth was a “data-driven” decision as they looked at their census numbers to see where highest population of kids are in the community.