116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
IOWA CITY — The city of Iowa City is moving forward on installing a new playground on the downtown Pedestrian Mall.
The playground design was finalized last October and the equipment ordered. The playground was last renovated 20 years ago.
More than 550 residents submitted ideas for the redesign. The city shared a proposed concept for the playground last April and then a redesigned version a month later after feedback from residents.
The changes included making slides accessible by stairs and adding toddler swings and City of Literature elements.
Parks and Recreation Director Juli Seydell Johnson previously told The Gazette it would take longer than normal to receive the equipment.
Typically, playground equipment takes eight to 10 weeks after ordering to arrive, but the city built in extra time due to manufacturing plants running behind, she said.
What’s happened since?
The Iowa City Council earlier this month unanimously approved installation of the new playground and removal of the existing playground.
New surfacing and large shade structures also will be added.
The equipment is expected to arrive at the end of May, with construction occurring in June or July, Seydell Johnson told the council March 1.
“It should be fairly quick when everything’s on site,” she said.
A bid document on the city’s website lists June 17 as the “substantial” completion date for the playground and July 1 as the final completion date.
The cost estimate is $234,000.
Council member Pauline Taylor said it’s hard to hear that a piece of city infrastructure is “nearing the end of its useful life” but added the playground has “certainly had a very useful life.”
“Every time I've walked by there, it's being used and enjoyed by many children, my granddaughter included,” Taylor said.
Taylor said she is looking forward to seeing how the new playground turns out and appreciates the shade structures that were included in the design.
“I do hope that this playground can continue to be enjoyed by many more generations to come,” she said.
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