An old playground structure, deemed unsafe by the Wellesley Department of Public Works, was removed from Perrin Park during the fall of 2012. That set in motion an effort to replace it with new gear — funded in part by park neighbors/users — and now some are wondering why that equipment isn’t in place yet (“The park is very busy and the kids are missing out…” a Swellesley reader wrote to us.).
Here’s what we learned:
After the equipment was removed, the DPW informed the Wellesley Natural Resources Commission that it should request capital funds to replace it. The NRC did just that in the fall of 2012, garnering $25K of a sought-after $30K from the Community Preservation Committee (approved by town meeting in April, 2013). That left the NRC seeking an additional $5K from private sources/the neighborhood, and indeed neighbors responded, including by running a yard sale that we wrote about last October (such private funding of playground equipment is not unusual in Wellesley and in fact such an effort helped provide for playground improvement at Perrin in the early 1990s.). Overall, an additional $8,500 was raised, including $1K from the Wellesley Hills Junior Women’s Club, according to the NRC Director Janet Hartke Bowser.
The DPW took the lead in contacting possible equipment vendors and got a preliminary quote this past spring. But given the relatively high cost of the project, an additional vendor was contacted and a design/quote is expected shortly. “I believe the time being used now for reviewing this additional vendor’s design will produce a more improved playground at a better price,” says the DPW’s Mike Quinn.
According to Bowser, the anticipated installation of new equipment will take place in September, “which has always been our estimated completion date for the project.” Quinn says the project should be done late September or early October at the latest.
The new equipment is expected to include a tot play structure, a see-saw and a new spring rider or two.