In the past couple weeks, the City of Puyallup’s plan to replace the existing play equipment in Pioneer Park and to retrofit and convert the outdated wading pool into a spray park has picked up speed.
The city council awarded a $67,770 contract to Bruce Dees and Associates on Oct. 1 to move forward in the conceptual design of the spray park and replacement playground equipment.
“Bruce Dees will help with the bidding process on the general contractor and in the construction permitting,” parks administrator Sarah Harris said. “Bruce Dees will come back to the (parks) advisory board on Nov. 4 with the initial concept drawings on the playground equipment and spray park.”
Bruce Dees and Associates has worked on numerous spray-park projects throughout the region and has received several awards that have recognized their partnerships with local municipalities.
Members of the Parks, Recreation and Senior Advisory Board received an overview on Oct. 7 of the timeframe of when upcoming public meetings would be concerning the project, as well as when 30 percent, 90 percent and 100 percent project drawings would be completed.
“We’re shooting for a July 1 opening date for the spray park and playground,” Harris said.
At the same meeting, Tim Wadham, director of the Puyallup Public Library, introduced the design theme of the playground that will incorporate childhood early literacy elements.
“There is a national program called Every Child Ready to Read that was started by the National Library Association, of which I was involved with from the very beginning,” Wadham said. “The goal of the program is to do research and find out what are the basic skills that parents can do with their children to prepare them to read. The five practices that were identified are reading, singing, writing, talking and playing.
“These are for parents to do with their child and help children from infant to 5 years of age. The idea is, we are going to incorporate these early literacy elements into the playground.”
Wadham said he’s excited about the unique opportunity to join the library with the playground, which is situated just outside the library doors.
“We may be one of the very first in the country to have an early literacy-themed playground,” he said.
Examples of the elements incorporated would be toy instruments to encourage singing and alphabet elements to encourage talking, Wadham said. Signage will be on site to instruct parents how to best utilize the incorporated elements, he said. There also will be brochures inside library available to parents who want to learn more about how to best use the playground.
“Bruce Dees will be outlining what that framework will look like, and I will work with them on that,” Wadham said.
Reporter Andrew Fickes can be reached at 253-552-7001 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter, @herald_andrew.