×

Humiston playground to get facelift

  • Jaffrey Parks and Recreation Department is working to construct a new playground at Humiston Park next spring. (Nicholas Handy / Monadnock Ledger-Transcript) Staff photo by Nicholas Handy—Monadnock Ledger-Transcript

  • Jaffrey Parks and Recreation Department is working to construct a new playground at Humiston Park next spring. Staff photo by Nicholas Handy

  • Jaffrey Parks and Recreation Department is working to construct a new playground at Humiston Park next spring. (Nicholas Handy / Monadnock Ledger-Transcript) Staff photo by Nicholas Handy—Monadnock Ledger-Transcript

  • Jaffrey Parks and Recreation Department is working to construct a new playground at Humiston Park next spring. (Nicholas Handy / Monadnock Ledger-Transcript) Staff photo by Nicholas Handy—Monadnock Ledger-Transcript

  • Jaffrey Parks and Recreation Department is working to construct a new playground at Humiston Park next spring. (Nicholas Handy / Monadnock Ledger-Transcript) Staff photo by Nicholas Handy—Monadnock Ledger-Transcript



Monadnock Ledger-Transcript
Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Jaffrey’s Parks and Recreation Department has secured over $50,000 to replace aging playground equipment at Humiston Field. 

Recreation Director Renee Sangermano said Tuesday that the entirety of the playground project – which will not only replace existing equipment but will also expand the playground’s footprint with new swings and climbing structures – will cost over $80,000, with the second phase of the project currently being fundraised for. 

“To better utilize our space, we need to invest in our playground,” said Sangermano, who added that the playground equipment at Humiston is currently at the end of its life cycle.

“Playgrounds are expensive. I hope the community gets supportive about this project… that way we all have a piece in it.”

Phase one of the project of the project – paid for by an $18,453.20 GameTime grant and $34,701.55 in matching funds from the recreation revolving fund – will replace the current equipment with a new climbing/slide structure and will bring two expression swings, a combination swing that has a seat for a parent and young child. 

Phase two would add six belt swings and two climbing structures – one specifically for the under five crowd – and would cost $31,382.45. Sangermano hopes to fundraise for costs associated with phase two.

Presently, there is no anticipated tax impact for the project, with he recreation revolving fund replenished by fees from recreational activities. 

Construction on at least phase one will occur sometime in the spring, with a community build currently being planned in an effort to save money and bring the community together. Sangermano said additional money will have to be raised or found to pay for wood chips or other surfacing materials. 

Sangermano has wanted to replace the playground equipment since she came aboard the department in June of 2015.

“It was in rough shape,” said Sangermano, recalling her first examination of the playground. “The structure was installed about 19 years ago and the swings were likely installed in the 60s or 70s.”

A study completed by Primex, the town’s insurance provider, in 2016 further highlighted the need for new equipment or maintenance to existing equipment.

The report calls attention to several priority areas, including sharp edges on playground equipment, protrusions of bolt heads, an entanglement hazard, and a number of general maintenance hazards. Other moderate hazards were also noted.

Sangermano said some maintenance work has been completed in the past two years – including installing a rubber mat under the swings and new chains and swings – but makings all needed repairs would be cost-prohibitive. 

In addition to making the playground safer, Sangermano said playground improvements will also make the area more multi-generational. Currently, the playground caters well to the elementary school crowd, but new equipment will increase offerings for the under five crowd. 

Expanding the footprint is also important, according to Sangermano, as the playground is often over capacity. The currently playground serves about 20 to 25 children, but phase one will increase capacity to around 60, with phase two bringing the number to over 100. 

Nicholas Handy can be reached at 924-7172 ext. 235 or nhandy@ledgertranscript.com. He is also on Twitter @nhandyMLT.