A new place to play is on the way

Bonney Lake was able to secure a nearly 50 percent grant to build an ADA-accessible playground at Allan Yorke Park, as well as organize a volunteer build event to lower installation costs.

It might not seem like much against the multimillion dollar backdrop of the entire Allan Yorke Park overhaul, but a new playground may well become one of the more popular attractions the area has to offer its residents and visitors.

During the Bonney Lake City Council’s Sept. 18 workshop, the city’s Park Commission led a short presentation about the new playground, how much it will cost the city to buy and install, and when it can expected to be open to the public.

“People are pretty excited,” Commissioner Barbara Kiliz told the council.

According to the commission and GameTime, the Alabama-based company from which the city will purchase the equipment, the playground will have many features not just new to Allan Yorke Park, but on the Plateau as a whole, and will be accessible to nearly everyone, even those with physical and mental disabilities.

“This [will be] the first ADA-inclusive park on the Plateau,” Commissioner Pablo Monroy said. “Wheelchair accessible, sensory panels, auditory interaction — it meets every kids’, as many as we could at least, needs as far as what they feel, what they play with.”

Other features, which can be seen in a concept design video on YouTube at www.youtu.be/idPo21wSFUE, include swings that allow a parent and child to swing at the same time (with the child facing the parent), a family-sized teeter-totter, and a large spinning chair, plus the usual fare of slides for multiple ages, monkey bars, and various interactive doodads scattered around the play structure.

According to the commission, the equipment is supposed to last 15 to 20 years, “and all of it is low maintenance,” Kilez said. The playground is expected to be built in the East Park section of Allan Yorke, which is the section of the park where the boat trailer parking lot currently sits.

Of course, the city council was interested in how much the playground was going to cost.

According to the commission, the city would normally expect to have to pay around $300,000 to purchase and install of the equipment.

But the city was recently awarded a GameTime grant of $97,000 to specifically build an ADA playground, and the grant money is available so long as the city purchases the playground by Oct. 31.

Additionally, GameTime is allowing volunteers — overseen by an approved engineer — to help install the playground, further cutting costs down to an estimated $185,000.

The commission said 44 volunteers have signed up to help, as well as some elementary school coaches and their sports teams who said they would be willing to help assemble the playground late summer 2019.

The council has some ancillary concerns, like what parking was going to look like and what security will be in the area, but overall, they and Mayor Neil Johnson seemed excited to bring a resolution approving the GameTime grant to a vote during the Sept. 25 meeting, and then approve the purchase of the playground at a later meeting.

In other Allan Yorke Park news, the city is still working on a Shoreline Master Plan and some infrastructure issues that will allow a 113-stall parking lot and a new artificial baseball field to be built near the playground.

Grants are in the works as well, and if everything goes as planned, construction of the ballfield can begin fall 2019 and wrap up spring 2020. The Shoreline Master Plan process is expected to be finished by spring 2019 as well, allowing for construction of the parking lot to get underway in the summer or fall, Leaf said.

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