STAGE two of the upgrade and redevelopment of Rotary Pioneer park is well under way with the $140,000 project expected to draw more children and families to the riverside play area.
Funded predominately by the Blakeney Millar Foundation with Tumut Rotary also contributing, the layout of the playground will follow the original plans mooted by Alex Dalglish and Prue Walsh back in 2010.
Currently excavators and heavy machinery are working on the site that lies between the existing playground and the rear of the swimming pool, to build up the height of the new playground.
Tumut Shire Council’s Parks and Property Officer, Brad Beed, said the earthworks will put the new equipment safely above the flood line.
“The earthworks that are currently taking place are to try and get a bank built up because stage three of the plans require a bank for the slippery slides. It will also raise the playground above flood level,” Mr Beed said. “Creek work is also being carried out to flatten the batters and rock line it.
“It too is part of the original playground design. It will be part of the playground itself and the area will be made safer.”
The first stage of the playground revamp was completde in January 2012 and consisted of scrapping the old play equipment and replacing it with a pyramid-style climbing structure, a hybrid swing/hammock, a cubby-house with two slides and a spinning metal dish.
Stage one was financed by a $75,000 federal government grant sourced by Tumut Shire Council under the Regional and Local Community Infrastructure Program.
Council have not been required to finance any of the second stage. The third stage and final stage will only be launched if further funding became available.
Mr Beed said the initial works, that commenced two weeks ago, are being hampered by the rainy conditions but he expects the playground to be fully operational well before the Lanterns in the Lagoon festival that takes place in Pioneer Park occurs in September.
“The weather is making the creek work a little difficult so it will be at least another month before the playground is completed,” Mr Beed said. “We are installing another four pieces of equipment including a large nest swing, a five way swing, a net style Parkour feature and a super nova spinner.”
To make way for the works, five poplar trees that were deemed unsafe in an arborist report, have been removed from the site. Mr Beed said the trees were hollow with one of the trees so badly rotted a man could stand inside the trunk.
“They were removed in the interest of public safety,” he said. “It is a common problem with older poplars. Over 50 trees will planted throughout the project through.”
The third and final stage of the playground will include a bank slide with climbing areas along with a few other elements that are designed for smaller children in mind. Additional pathways and seating will finish off the area.