22-Year-Old Park Starting to Show its Age

By: David Coy Email
By: David Coy Email

HARRISONBURG -- Some parents are sounding the alarm about playground equipment at Purcell Park. One piece is so old and dangerous, one man is afraid for kids to play near it.

The Kids Castle is more than 22-years-old. Built in 1991, the playground has seen better days.

Joshua Huffman has lived in the area all his life. He used to play at the park when he was a kid.

"I just worry that it won't be here for the next generation. It feels like it hasn't been as maintained as well as I think it ought," said Huffman.

Some of the wood is starting to get mildew. Nails in certain places are starting to show, and tires on the bridge are starting to get destroyed.

"We spend a lot of time doing maintenance on it. It's inspected weekly by one of our certified safe playground safety instructors," said Harrisonburg Parks and Recreation Director Lee Foerster.

He said he also depends on the public to report any problems.

"We want to put in some additional safety cushion surfacing in there. We have a few boards we need to replace and we have also not sealed the structure in about a year or two and it does need to be sealed," said Foerster.

Some of the wood has already been replaced. Huffman said he would like to see more done.

"I think it's still passable at this point. But it's soon going to reach the point where they're going to look at this and say it's unsafe for children and therefore they would have to close it down."

The Harrisonburg Parks and Recreation Department plans to have many of the issues resolved by the beginning of July. There hasn't been any reports of any major injuries.

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