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Construction Set To Begin On New and Improved Funway Park Playground

Jun 05, 2014 10:47AM, Published by Bill Gilman, Categories: Tewksbury Pride, Today, Town Hall




Tewksbury's most popular playground is about to get an extreme makeover.
Venerable Funway Park, located on Livingston Street, is set to be completely renovated this summer. All of the existing equipment will be replaced the area will be completely re-landscaped.
The price tag for the project is $218,317. Of that total, $200,000 will be paid for through Community Preservation Act funds, approved by Town Meeting voters last year. The remaining $18,317 will come out of the DPW budget, according to Town Manager.
The month-long project will begin July 7.
Paige Impink, chairwoman of the Funway Playground Renovation Committee, presented an overview of the project at the June 3 Board of Selectmen's meeting. Also on hand were committee members Cheryl Barnes and Jennie Welch.
The theme of the project, according to Impink, was "making an already popular destination more modern, safe and enjoyable."
"The top priority was safety but keeping in mind fun and accessibility," said Impink.
The new facility will feature many of the same types of equipment, just safer versions. For example, the tall metal slide is being replaced by a shorter, plastic slide. The new version will be cooler to the skin and will have more "give." The popular tire swing has been replaced by a newer version.
The existing equipment has been in place since 1999.
Among the new features are a zip line from one section of climbing equipment to another and a web climb. Shade-creating canopies have also been added. There will also be an asphalt walking perimeter around the park.
"That will allow moms to walk and get their exercise while their children play," said Impink.
The new park will be divided into two areas. One will be for ages 2 to 5, the other for ages 5-12.
The park will feature just one entrance/exit as an added safety feature.
"Jennie Welch (Public Safety Officer with the Tewksbury Police Department) helped out greatly with the safety issues," said Impink.
Demolition of the old park is expected to take place July 7-11. The next two weeks will involve site prep and landscaping.
The weekend of July 26-27 has been designated as a "Community Build Weekend." The committee is looking to recruit community volunteers to help install the new playground equipment. The work of volunteers not only helps keep the cost of the project down but bolsters the sense of community "ownership" in the project, according to Impink.
From July 28-Aug. 1, the fencing around the park and the asphalt walking path will be installed.
A grand opening for the new Funway Park is set for Aug. 2.
In addition to Impink, Barnes and Welch, committee members includes Lauren Cunningham, Aemy Dean, Maureen Castiglione and Jeanne Dunn.
Impink said as part of their research and planning, the committee visited 15 area playgrounds to get a sense of what worked and what didn't.


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