South Pittsburgh Reporter - Serving South Pittsburgh Since 1939

Armstrong Park renovations underway


Last week crews began removing the playground equipment and play surface at the Armstrong Playground on 12th Street in South Side in preparation for a new water spray feature and playground equipment.

Renovations to Armstrong Playground on 12th Street have begun in earnest with the removal of the play equipment and the safety surface.

In February, city officials met with South Side residents to go over the plans for renovating the playground including replacing the water feature and play equipment, applying a new safety surface and repairing the cracks in the basketball court. City officials had hoped to have renovations completed before school recessed for the summer.

According to Scottish poet Robert Burns, "The best laid schemes o' mice an' men gang aft a-gley," and so it was with Armstrong Playground. While some work was completed on schedule, renovating the horseshoe pits and removal of a diseased tree, other renovations have had to wait.

District 3 Councilman Bruce Kraus likened it to working with a contractor on a home project, "it's like contracting with someone to put a kitchen in your house. They say it's June and it's October by the time it's finished."

The water spray feature will be removed and replaced. The current water spray basin is raised and is considered a tripping hazard and kids playing in and around it could be injured.

The city has signed a letter of acceptance with a contractor to replace the water feature with a new one without the pronounced lip around the perimeter.

According to Director of Public Work Mike Gable, after the spray feature is installed, the city will come in and resurface the playground and install the new equipment and safety surface.

Councilman Kraus said the play equipment had to be replaced because it didn't meet government safety standards.

In addition to resurfacing the park and installing new equipment, the city will also be replacing the fencing around the playground. A six-foot tall fence will be placed Along Roland Way and the current gateway there eliminated. At the February meeting residents cited the entrance as a way vandals would enter the playground unnoticed.

A four-foot fence will be used around the rest of the perimeter of the playground.

Councilman Kraus said renovations for the playground will end up being over budget. He blamed having to replace the play equipment as the reason for the extra expense.

One place where they were able to save money was in not having to asphalt the entire playground. The cost savings amounted to nearly $30,000 the councilman said.

Unfortunately, the timeline for completion of the repairs has the playground open at the end of summer.


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