By ADAM DRAPCHO, LACONIA DAILY SUN
MEREDITH — The playground structures have been removed from Prescott Park, and the town will soon hear a plan to use the space that once held them. The proposal will be included as part of a Parks and Recreation master plan that selectmen will first see next month.
The playground, which had been in a space adjacent to the Glenn Hart Memorial Skate Park, was removed because it had reached the end of its serviceable life, said Town Manager Phil Warren.
“Granted, it was probably built in the ’70s,” if not sooner, said Warren. The town was no longer able to find replacement parts, he said, so it was taken down.
“It had exceeded its intended use life cycle,” he said, noting that the much newer playground, located just a short walk away at the town’s Community Center, is at the ready for children who want to climb, swing and slide.
“There is a wonderful playground up the hill that was put together with lots of volunteer help and fundraising,” said Warren, specifically crediting the Friends of Meredith Parks and Recreation.
The Parks and Recreation Department is working on a plan to utilize the space that the playground once filled. Vint Choiniere, parks and recreation director, said the space is included in a master plan that his department is preparing to present to selectmen during a workshop session next month.
“We’re going to present that (on July 17). It’s still being worked out. We’ll have recommendations for all of our facilities,” said Choiniere, declining to offer specifics of the plan prior to its presentation to selectmen.
The playground’s removal comes less than a year after Warren rejected sweeping criticism of the town’s management of facilities at Prescott Park. In a letter to the editor, written by Kenny Hill and published in October 2016, Hill called the playground a “splinter trap.” Asked to respond, Warren said at the time that the playground was “still safe” and noted that the wood components were treated with a paint that encapsulates any potential splinters.
The town’s management of the park came under fire again this week, when Brendan Hart, son of the man that the skate park is dedicated to, criticised the town for both allowing the structures to deteriorate and for restricting access to the skate park to only a few hours per week.
A playground that once stood near the Glenn Hart Memorial Skate Park in Meredith's Prescott Park is gone. The town's Park and Recreation Department is readying a master plan for its facilities, including that space, which will be presented on July 17. (Adam Drapcho/Laconia Daily Sun)
- Written by Adam Drapcho
- Category: Local News
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