New South End playground opens for business Saturday

LANGLEY — Workers and park district staff have been working for months on the new playground, and finally it’s all coming together.

“We want the taxpayers who paid for this facility to come out and join us to celebrate,” said Park Commissioner Linda Kast. “And we hope they bring their children.”

South Whidbey Parks & Recreation commissioners will stage an open house from noon to 2 p.m. Saturday at the new playground, plaza and pavilions recently completed at the Sports Complex on Langley Road.

Kast noted that, in case of expected rain, there are two new covered pavilions and rain gardens to soak up the water.

Late Wednesday, workers were putting the finishing touches on the structures and clearing away the last of the construction debris. Craig Brooks from Brooks Construction in Clinton was applying a natural sealant to the underside of the pavilions, a measure designed to give the wood a long life.

Leroy Boren of Freeland was sprucing up the new fencing that will greet visitors.

“It’s going to be a great place for the kids,” he said.

Island County Commissioner Helen Price Johnson, Langley Mayor Paul Samuelson and Kast will cut the ceremonial ribbons and kick off the celebration with a few short remarks followed by refreshments to celebrate the new facility.

“The improvements to the sports complex were initiated to help soccer families get out of the rain and provide a playground for siblings of soccer players,” said parks director Terri Arnold. “The new playground is designed for children from 2 to 12 years old and includes climbing boulders, three slides, a swing set, a fireman’s pole and several elevated platforms.”

The $291,000 spent to create the playground came from a $1.6 million bond passed by the voters in February 2008. Though a company in Seattle built the play structures, virtually all the installation work was done by local contractors.

Two large spectator pavilions built by Boren Construction flank the new plaza. The pavilions are outfitted with tables and barbecue grills for the warmer days to come. The pavilion is accented with landscaping and rain gardens designed by local landscape designer Sarah Birger.

“The main plaza includes a stamped concrete pathway, built by Moll-Nevins Concrete, and there is plenty of room for the little guys to play hopscotch, ride their bicycles or practice skating in a safe environment,” Arnold noted.

The district has spent a million dollars upgrading facilities over the last 12 months.

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