PLAYGROUND UPDATE

PLAYGROUND UPDATE

PLAYGROUND UPDATE

 

Please note the following regarding the playground equipment at recreation center 3, Thunderhill.  MPRHOA had routine playground inspections conducted at all recreation center playgrounds by certified playground inspectors, which included; recommendations on equipment repair and replacement, safety checks, future cleanings, adding fresh sand, etc.

 

  • It was recommended that this playground equipment located at recreation center 3 (Thunderhill) to be replaced due to wear and tear, out of code/outdated parts, damage by past vandalism, among other recommended changes.  The reason for replacement is that parts are no longer available for this equipment.  This is due to the fact the playground manufacturer who supplied this equipment over 14 years ago had a fire at their storage plant in Georgia, which burned to the ground in year 2017, leaving little to no future replacement parts.

 

  • We reached out to three (3) different playground companies and all said the same; parts for this equipment are not available or non-existent and if found they would be very costly, not to mention parts would take months or even longer if found, and we would run into the same problem in the near future with any more parts needing replacement on this equipment.

 

  • In addition, playground companies will not take the liability to try and retrofit non-compatible parts.  Therefore, playground replacement is the best option.  Please also note that the MPRHOA Reserve Study has funds already saved and available for replacement of this playground equipment.

 

  • We will keep you updated as we progress with replacement.  Below, we also have a “Q & A” on our website, to help answer questions.

 

Please see below questions and answers (Q & A) to help assist why it was determined as our best option to remove the playground equipment now and replace it with new updated equipment.

 

Mountain Park Ranch HOA (MPRHOA) recently had routine playground inspections conducted at all recreation center playgrounds by two (2) different certified playground inspectors (in an effort to get two different inspectors opinions) and three different playground companies. Inspections included; recommendations on equipment repair and replacement, safety checks, future cleanings, adding fresh sand, among other suggestions for us to consider.

 

Recreation Centers 1 & 2 Playgrounds – (Ranch Circle South and Ranch Circle North):

 

Recreation Centers 1 & 2 playgrounds, located on Ranch Circle South and Ranch Circle North, are open for your use and enjoyment.  It was recommended to have the playground sand tilled (cultivated) and refreshed at both these locations as soon as the rainy season is over.  Tilling the sand evens it out, fluffs and smooths it, creating a better playing area.  Rain does the opposite, and hardens the sand, so we are holding off right now.  We have scheduled this service and anticipate this should happen sometime in September or October 2022.

 

Recreation Center 3 Playground – (Thunderhill):

 

The playground located at recreation center 3, Thunderhill, was recommended by both inspectors to be closed for now.  Some of the playground equipment is in need of replacing due to; wear and tear, parts that are now out of code/outdated, or damaged by past vandalism, among other recommended updating.

 

One inspector told us its like updating an old bathroom in your house.  Twenty (20) years ago what was considered code, is now outdated.  For example, if you were to now renovate and update your old bathroom, you would need to comply with new codes, like updating old outlets from conventional to GFI type outlets, etc., no differently then what we would have to do with some of the playground equipment.  Problem is, there are no parts readily available.  As a safety precaution, we followed the inspectors recommendations and closed the playground in an effort to discuss future repair and replacement options.

(Q) Why was recreation center 3 (Thunderhill) playground equipment removed and not just repaired?

 

(A) We had two (2) playground inspectors (in an effort to get two different inspectors opinions) and three different playground companies all tell us the same thing about this playground. They indicated that many of the parts for this equipment are not available or non-existent, and if they could find any they would be very costly to replace, not to mention parts would take months or even longer if found.  We would then run into the same problem in the near future with more parts that would need replacing on this equipment.

 

(Q) Why are parts so hard to find for this playground?

 

(A) The playground manufacturer who supplied this equipment over 14 years ago had a fire at their storage plant in Georgia, which burned to the ground in year 2017, leaving little to no future replacement parts. Any old parts from 2017 to this point in time have been bought up by others with the same playground equipment, who needed replacement parts.  Since our equipment didn’t need replacement parts up until not long ago, there was no reason to stockpile parts that we didn’t need at the time.

 

(Q) Why not just find other parts and try to integrate those to the current equipment?

 

(A) We looked into this option, however playground companies will not take the liability to try and retrofit non-compatible parts.  They also told us even if they found original replacement parts from the manufacture, it was not guaranteed those parts would even fit our equipment after 14 years of use, which could open up more liability if we allowed this to happen.  Parts are non-returnable/non-refundable, if they fit or not, which could cost us thousands of dollars and months of waiting if this happened.  Therefore, again, playground replacement was the best option.

 

(Q) Does MPRHOA have the funds to cover the expense for new equipment?

 

(A) Yes. The MPRHOA Reserve Study has funds already saved and available for replacement of this playground equipment.  Several years ago the Reserve Study Engineer forecasted replacement around this time period for the playground equipment.

 

(Q) Why couldn’t we just leave the existing playground equipment fenced in for now?

 

(A) Due to liability and safety concerns, we were advised by the inspectors and playground company to fence the area off to avoid any potential liability, which we did.  However leaving it fenced off during this time period left us with additional liability.  Someone could try to break into the fenced area and use the equipment.  So for safety reasons we removed the equipment to mitigate any liability.

 

(Q) What about the old playground equipment, are you saving the parts?

 

(A)  Yes, the playground company is stockpiling this equipment and will use any salvageable parts for future use at our other two playgrounds located on Ranch Circle South and Ranch Circle North.  Any other un-usable equipment will be recycled.

 

(Q) How long until new playground equipment is installed?

 

(A) That is being determined right now by our playground company.  But a time period of 6-12 months is what we are being told to expect.  We are currently reaching out to several playground manufacturers around the country to obtain designs, pricing, time frames, etc.

 

(Q) Will the new playground equipment be like the old equipment?

 

(A) Once we obtain designs, pictures, recommendations, etc., we will be sharing this information prior to agreeing on the final product.  Our goal is the match-up the old equipment with the new equipment as close as possible, however with new codes and recommendations, there will be a changes that we will have to adhere with.

 

(Q) Why couldn’t we just wait and leave the equipment in place to see if replacement parts are available?

 

(A) We did look into this option, however all 3 playground companies that we contacted advised against this due to the long time period it would take to receive new parts (months) and that’s if they were even available or obtainable.  Plus the fact if any other parts needed replacement in the near future on this playground equipment then we would continually have to shut it down until those part(s) were found, ordered, shipped, installed, etc.

 

We will keep you updated and try to answer your questions as we as we progress on this playground.

 

Please contact the HOA Office with any questions, thank you.