CRANBERRY TWP — Playtime Palace playground in Community Park off Route 19 will be replaced after more than 20 years with a new play area that will cost at least $500,000.
The new area will be called the Kids Castle, A Cranberry Uniting Playground. It will be moved farther away from the interior park road and will be twice the size of Playtime Place, which is scheduled to be removed beginning in April.
The goal is to have the playground open by September 2013.
The project is expected to cost $500,000 to $600,000. Details and a preliminary design were unveiled at the township supervisors meeting Thursday evening.
The new larger, safer and uniquely designed play facility will offer imaginative play along with traditional structures.
It will have three areas: one harks back to Cranberry’s historic roots of farming, a second for the present day with the Kids Castle designed to look like the clock tower at the township municipal center, and a third that looks at the future that will have unique playground equipment.
The playground is the 2013 Cranberry Township Community Chest’s Project of the Year, which is being done in partnership with the Cranberry CUP, Community Uniting People.
Cathy Cortazzo, Cranberry CUP board president, said in addition to helping the annual Inspirational Family and other families in need, the CUP took up this project because it will benefit the entire community.
“We wanted the neighborhoods to take ownership of this project. We feel this is an excellent project to present to the community,” said Cortazzo.
Bruce Mazzoni, supervisors chairman and secretary of the community chest board, said, “Step one was the commitment of the Cranberry CUP 16 to 18 months ago to start the project. Without the CUP, the playground couldn’t be built.”
The supervisors Thursday evening approved two contracts totaling $82,500 for the design and construction of the park facility.
A $37,000 contact for the design of the Kids Castle Clock Tower, which will be a central feature of the play area, was approved to Play by Design of Ithaca, N.Y.
The final overall design and construction contract of $45,582 was approved for Pashek Associates of Pittsburgh.
Over its 22-year life, the wooden Playtime Palace playground structure had developed maintenance problems including decaying support posts, splintering wood, worn parts, sharp edges and insect infestation.
John Trant, Cranberry chief strategy officer, added the facility doesn’t meet play equipment safety standards.
Because of its location, there also is a pedestrian crossing safety issue getting to the equipment.
To fund the new playground, the Cranberry CUP has donated $175,000 and has pledged another $35,000 per year for five years. The community chest has pledged $50,000.
However, those funds aren’t enough, so the community chest will have a fundraising campaign.
“If we want to begin construction this spring, we’ll need to raise another $250,000 by June from the residents and businesses,” said Mazzoni.
Several fundraising events are planned including a 5K run and the selling of monument bricks for the entrance way to the Kids Castle.
Details of the design and more information on the fundraising are at the CTCC’s website at: www.CTCChest.org.