New Cedar Hill Park Playground Construction Set for May 18 -22

The City of Oak Ridge is currently in the process of planning the Community Build Week for the exciting, newly designed Cedar Hill Park Playground that is scheduled for construction on May 18-22.

The steering committee is currently seeking other interested community members to join the effort. Anyone interested in helping make this vision become a reality for the children of Oak Ridge is encouraged to contact Jon Hetrick, the Project Manager for the Cedar Hill Playground Rebuild, at jhetrick@oakridgetn.gov or by phone at (865) 425-1867.

In an effort to provide the safest and most enjoyable playing experience for the children, the City is replacing the current structure and has again enlisted the help of Leathers and Associates, a playground design firm that assisted with the original Cedar Hill Park Playground build in 1988. In the fall of 2009, the Recreation and Parks Department received notice from Leathers and Associates that many of its treated wood playgrounds nationwide were undergoing major renovation and replacement to address similar concerns.

The new schematic of the playground has already been designed thanks to Oak Ridge school children who provided input to the Leathers & Associates Playground Designer during Design Day. The new schematic will feature fresh, unique ideas provided by a new generation of playground users that include a fire pole, pirate ship, and a rock wall, just to name a few.

The new playground will be made of recycled plastic. This material conforms to the City’s sustainability initiative and will ultimately require less maintenance and have a longer life expectancy than that of the current wood structure.

“Over twenty years ago, the community came together to create a unique amenity for the City and everyone is excited to see that act recreated in May,” said Josh Collins, Recreation and Parks Director.

The need for a new playground at Cedar Hill Park is a result of the condition of the current playground and substantial changes to safety and accessibility standards. For decades, the playground has been enjoyed by tens of thousands of children, and despite regular maintenance, the heavy use and weather exposure has worn the wooden playground structure beyond the point of simple repairs. Repairs to the structure also do not address design concerns. Over the years since the playground was originally designed, considerable research has been done on the types and causes of injuries to children on playgrounds. As a result of this research, new safety standards for the design of playgrounds have been developed. ADA standards have also changed significantly.