The Playground of Dreams in Kennewick’s Columbia Park closes on Friday, September 14th, so crews can demolish the structure and replace it with all new equipment.
The current structure, built in 2004 after arsonists burned the original playground, is worn and in need of replacement.
“Safety standards have changed and the existing wood has deteriorated over time, and it just makes sense that we would take advantage of the opportunity to make in an inclusive playground where kids of all abilities can play side-by-side,” said Kennewick’s Parks and Recreation Director Emily Estes-Cross.
The new structure will be made of recyclable materials, and include swings and other elements that allow children of diverse abilities to play side-by-side with their peers.
The rebuild will take place in two phases, with the first to be completed in November, when it will be reopened for use. The second phase will take place in spring 2019.
The new design will incorporate iconic elements and new features the community asked for during 2017 open houses and surveys, including a hydroplane, the cable bridge, a lighthouse and a Lampson crane. First phase components will be connected by ramps and the second phase of the site poured with a surface that can be navigated by users with wheelchairs or mobility limitations.
The city budgeted $350,000 toward the $1 million playground, and are fundraising for the balance. So far, private contributions have brought in $180,000 to date, and the city is looking for a major sponsorship partner. “This is a highly visible attraction that creates a lot of happiness and impacts countless families,” Estes-Cross said.
To date, around 100 pickets have been requested and 40 returned to original supporters. An online claim form is available at Go2Kennewick.com/PlaygroundOfDreams, and pickets can be picked up at the Southridge Sports and Events Complex during business hours.
For more information, please contact Emily Estes-Cross at (509) 585-4258 or [email protected].