Xenia city leaders have unveiled designs for a new playground, which many say they believe is desperately needed.
According to officials, the city has budgeted $200,000 to replace the playground at Shawnee Park. Chipped paint and broken ladders are just some signs of its age. Some portions, like one of the bridges, are now closed to the public since they’ve been deemed unstable, according to Brian Forschner, Xenia city planner.
“We actually just went about a month ago, and I was shocked at how terrible it looked,” said Lauren Fankell, a mother of two. “It was in such bad shape.”
Fankell said that’s why she’s excited about Xenia’s plans to rebuild the playground this year.
“It’s really starting to show its wear,” Forschner said. “Portions of it have been blocked off because they’ve deteriorated and aren’t safe anymore.”
City officials have unveiled three preliminary designs they’d like the public to choose from. Schoolchildren in Xenia previously filled out surveys about what they’d like to see at Shawnee Park, Forschner said.
The city’s goal is to build a modern playground that’s more accessible to children with disabilities, he said.
“We’d like to create a more inclusive playground that is fun for kids of all different abilities – physically, mentally, cognitively,” Forschner said.
Aside from new equipment, crews are also expected to add new pathways, Forschner said. The city is working to get the equipment installed by the end of the year, he added.
“I think it’s wonderful,” Fankell said. “I think it needs to happen, and it’s definitely a good, positive thing for the community.”
Officials are hoping to have the new playground open by next spring, Forschner said. They plan to select one of the three proposed designs by mid-July, he added.
To view the preliminary designs, click here.