Kids are rejoicing in a revamped playground that recently opened at Sinsheimer Park with an artificial grass hill for cardboard sledding and a miniature zipline, among other new features.
A large centerpiece with multiple slides, a climbing wall, a snowboard simulator and swings also are part of the new attraction.
Since it opened earlier this month, children have flocked to the new play area. Kids even helped in the city’s planning and design of the equipment.
The $1.1 million upgrade was paid for with money in Measure G coffers, generated from a one-half percent sales tax. The project is the culmination of 11 months of construction at one of the city’s oldest parks, opened in the 1970s.
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“This is the best thing ever,” Mayor Heidi Harmon wrote on Facebook. “Sinsheimer Park playground is finally complete. This was a local revenue tax measure-funded playground and has been in the works for years from designed to finish, and as you can see it’s truly amazing and worth the wait.”
A free grand re-opening celebration will be held at the park at 900 Southwood Drive from 1 to 2 p.m. on Thursday, featuring a ribbon-cutting ceremony and a BBQ-style lunch.
The new playground replaces swings, slides and a jungle gym installed in 1993.
It meets the guidelines of the Americans with Disabilities Act, and also includes new picnic tables and benches, walkways, trees, water fountains and water filling stations.
While expressing appreciation for the popularity of the new playground, city officials sent out a Facebook post Monday asking the public to pick up their cardboard, which is being left in piles at the hill sled area.
Before its new design, the city sought the community’s input through public workshops and Parks and Recreation Commission meetings, also garnering feedback in a kids-only planning session.
Sahvanna Ettestad, a city Parks and Recreation Department administrative and communications specialist, said that part of the play area is designed for kids ages 0-6, and the rest for older children. The facility is located near the park’s stadium and parking.
“We have had a great outpouring of support for it,” Ettestad said. “People are sharing their photos online. They’re commenting on our Facebook page. People are letting us know they really enjoy it.”
The city’s Parks and Recreation Department has a policy of scheduling play equipment replacement on a 15-year cycle, which is considered the equipment’s useful lifespan.
The park, located next to Sinsheimer Elementary School, is one of 33 in the city and also features a pool complex, baseball stadium, softball field and tennis courts. It’s open from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Measure G also funds essential services including bike lanes and sidewalks; public safety; neighborhood and street paving; code enforcement; flood protection; senior programs and capital improvement projects, according to city officials.