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Kids vote on city park playground equipment

  • Written by Bill Lewis

The city of Woodinville will spend more than $400,000 on playground equipment at Wilmot Gateway Park and Woodinville Heights Park after receiving advice on the matter from a panel of experts: the elementary school students who will be using the equipment.

ParkElementary school students in Woodinville examined posters like this one, to compare playground equipment, before voting on equipment to purchase for playgrounds at Wilmot Gateway Park and Woodinville Heights Park. (Photo by Bill Lewis)Starting from a list of 11 playground-equipment designs, the city Parks and Recreation Commission this spring narrowed the list to two choices for each park. They sent along descriptions of the new equipment and posters showing the various choices to students at four elementary schools -- - Woodmoor, Woodin, Wellington and Hollywood Hills. Students from all four schools voted on the Wilmot Gateway Park proposals, while Wellington elementary students voted on the options for Woodinville Heights, the park closest to their school.

The students chose equipment for Wilmot Gateway that included a double-wide slide, whirligig and rock climbing structure; as well as a new slide and benches for Woodinville Heights.

The current equipment at the parks is at or near the end of its lifecycle, according to Asha D’Souza, city assistant public works director. With proper maintenance, the new equipment should last 25 years, or more, D’Souza said.

The city’s 2017-2018 biennial budget includes $300,000 for playground equipment at Wilmot Gateway, and $130,000 at Woodinville Heights. According to contracts with Northwest Playground Equipment Inc. of Issaquah, which will provide the Wilmot Gateway equipment, and AllPlay Systems LLC of Sequim, which will provide the Woodinville Heights equipment, the new play structures are expected to be installed at the parks by mid-September.

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