New playground coming to Globe Park

New playground coming to Globe Park

Third and 4th-grade students from Globe Park Elementary School look on as Parks and Recreation Director Liz Kerrigan and Mayor Lisa Baldelli-Hunt reveal the plans for a new playground to open July 15 at Globe Park. (Breeze photo by Lauren Clem)

WOONSOCKET – City officials unveiled plans for a new playground at Globe Park that will open to the public by July 15, according to Mayor Lisa Baldelli-Hunt, who led the groundbreaking ceremony on Tuesday.

According to Liz Kerrigan, director of Parks and Recreation, the new playground will replace previous equipment that was removed last fall after it was determined to be deficient and outdated by current safety standards. The old equipment had been a part of the 8.7-acre park between South Main Street and Providence Street since approximately 1982.

“It was hazardous, it was out of code, it was time for it to come out,” she said.

The new equipment, purchased from and installed by Kompan, will include at least six pieces of new play equipment for varying ages, including a climbing block, swings and pieces that spin, rotate and rock. The new area will be ADA compliant and consist of a mulch base over a larger ground area than was occupied by the previous playground.

According to Public Works Director Steven D’Agostino, the city’s highway department will do the sub-construction work in-house to prepare the space before the playground company begins to install the equipment on July 9, resulting in a savings for the city. The total cost of the project, about $55,000, was funded through the 2017-2018 budget.

“Our commitment has been to not borrow funds to make improvements,” said Baldelli-Hunt.

Teachers and students from Globe Park Elementary School who attended the unveiling checked out the renderings of the final plan and joined in on the ceremonial groundbreaking of the new space. For some teachers and city officials, the park held memories as a place where they had played when they were young.

“It’s very exciting. We’ve seen this park go through many different stages over the years,” said Cindy-Sue Girard, who teaches 4th-graders at Globe Park.

Globe Park is the latest in a series of city parks to undergo improvements in recent months. Construction continues on a girls’ softball field at Cass Park, one of several phases of a planned multimillion dollar improvement project at the park that also includes basketball courts, new bridges, new playground equipment, a track area and the possible relocation of the high school football field. According to D’Agostino, crews are currently finishing work on a retaining wall that, when complete, will allow spectators to sit in an area behind the wall to view softball games.

“We call it the gray monster, the wall that we’re building,” said Baldelli-Hunt.

The softball field, which, like other improvements at Cass Park, is largely funded through Department of Environmental Management recreational development grants, is scheduled for completion by next summer.

According to Baldelli-Hunt, the city is also seeking bids for the repair of the Aylsworth Avenue tennis courts and is hoping to secure a donation to construct a sail-like canopy to provide shade near the World War II Veterans Memorial Park splash pad.