Selby Park Playground Replacement Process
The Selby Playground is now open!
The Selby Park Playground Project is finally nearing completion. After some challenging delays that included long waits on replacement of some equipment that arrived damaged and several staffing issues for the installation contractor, we are down to the final section of safety surfacing and some of the improvements around the perimeter that had to wait for installation crews to be out of the way including planting of trees, mulch and installation of the picnic tables under the new shade structures. All of that is scheduled to occur this week and we are planning to have it open by this weekend if we don’t experience any additional unforeseen issues. We appreciate everyone’s patience!
Construction on the Selby Playground is moving along although there have been some delays due to equipment which had arrived with damages and the wait to get replacements shipped. Most of the equipment is now installed and the next phase is to install the safety surfacing. We are hoping things can be wrapped up in another 10-14 days.
Our playground vendor doing the installation was delayed on their current project a bit by the weather earlier this month so they will be arriving next week to begin installation of the new playground. Demo of the old playground is nearly completed. We expect installation to take 1-2 weeks meaning it should be completed by sometime the first week of June.
Demo of old playground and equipment, including the removal of the split trunk oak tree – week of May 10 (weather depending)
Installation of the new playground equipment – week of May 17 and possibly extending into the week of May 24 (weather depending)
The playground will be closed starting May 10 until the installation is complete.
Final Design Selected
After reviewing all of the feedback from the open house and comments we received on-line, option number one was the clear favorite. We have worked with our vendor to make a few adjustments to it based on some of the specific feedback we heard. The color was adjusted to a more neutral, and natural combination, we were able to add to the swings to replicate the swings shown in option three as many commented on how much they liked those, and we added another slide as many asked for as many slides as possible. Finally, we are working to add a communications board to help with engagement and interaction between children of all abilities.
The Parks and Recreation Commission and City Council approved the final design on February 16 and the equipment will be ordered right away. We expect about six to eight weeks for the delivery and hope to be installing the new playground in April or May.
Selby Park Playground Oak Tree Removal
You may have noticed in our playground designs the beautiful, large, split trunk oak tree is missing. Many of you commented on it and we wanted to provide an explanation. Unfortunately, we will be removing it during the playground renovation. Our certified arborists have been monitoring the health and condition of that tree for many years. The double forked structure of the tree has been a concern as well as its declining health, especially given its proximity to the busy playground where so many kids and families congregate. Those split trunk trees are especially dangerous as they decline because they are prone to splitting and falling at a moment's notice. Since we have been aware of its decline for a while, we have been planting trees along the west boundary of the playground in anticipation of it being removed. We will also be improving the mulch area on the east boundary of the playground by planting new large species trees that will provide shade for years to come. All of our designs also included shade over the seating area in the middle of the playground.
Shelby Shelter Improvements
We saw many comments in our Selby Park Playground Replacement feedback about the shelter and when it might be improved. This has been an expressed goal of the city in the Parks Master Plan and there is funding in the 2022 Capital Improvements Program (CIP) to assess the west end of the park including the aging shelter building. The design work will look at the best future layout for the entire west end of the park (including the parking lot) and assess whether to renovate or replace the existing shelter. Staff will begin working with residents early in 2022 on the project.
Thank you to everyone who attended the in-person open house at Selby on February 10 and to everyone who submitted their comments online. We took all of the comments and input received and sent everything to our design team. We will be posting the final design and any other information shortly. The recommendation will go to the Parks and Recreation Commission and then City Council. If approved, construction will begin in the spring to replace the playground.
Selby Park Replacement Process Project History
City Council authorized funding for the replacement of the Selby Park playground in their 2020 Capital Improvements Program. The playground surfacing is beginning to come apart and we are having issues with some of the decks and connectors showing excessive wear. The project was placed on hold for most of 2020 due to COVID related budget concerns. We resumed planning for the project in the fourth quarter of 2020.
Planning began by gathering community input using a survey with Colonial Hills residents sent out through the Civic Association’s social media, website, and email list. We received 132 responses to the survey which provided feedback on usage patterns and preferences, colors, types of equipment, and open-ended input.
We also worked with Colonial Hills Elementary to survey students about the play equipment they would like to see. Our picture survey had 200 responses indicating preferences on slides, swings, climbers and more.
We provided both sets of survey results to our vendor who has utilized them to come up with three different designs (see below).