The Commons is facing a good problem to have. Its playground is so popular and used so much that the need for maintenance is increasing.
Because of the growing wear and tear, the Columbus Park Board is considering upgrades to the 5,000-square-foot playground. If approved, it would be the first upgrade in nearly seven years, since The Commons opened in April 2011.
The playground’s design has three types of play areas:
- Toddlers, ages 6 months to 2 years
- Preschool, ages 2 to 5
- School age, ages 5 to 12
Families enjoy the indoor playground because it’s free and useful year-round — even for birthday parties.
The most popular attraction is the Luckey Climber, a 35-foot-tall enclosed climbing area. It’s intended for ages 5 to 12.
One problem maintenance workers believe is occurring is that children are playing in areas they are too old for, thus causing damage. Damage to three features in the toddler area in 2017 caused about $17,000 damage.
The Commons has budgeted $300,000 for design upgrades, and the park board has hired Hitchcock Design Group for a design study and evaluate what the public wants. We think considering a plan for improvements is a worthwhile step, and probably good practice roughly every decade.
While we suspect the popular Luckey Climber will remain, times do change and so do the wishes of parents and children. Ensuring that the playground has attractions that will be up-to-date and fun — as well as durable — is important.
Most important to the process, though, is getting plenty of public feedback from users, so that any changes reflect their wishes.
To share your suggestions for improvements to The Commons playground, call 812-376-2656 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.