Middletown is spending about $69K to improve the playground at its largest park

Middletown has closed the Smith Park playground for three months as new playground equipment will be installed. CONTRIBUTED
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Middletown has closed the Smith Park playground for three months as new playground equipment will be installed. CONTRIBUTED

The playground at Smith Park in Middletown was closed Tuesday in preparation for the installation of new playground equipment later this spring.

Shelby Quinlivan, city spokeswoman, said the playground at the city’s largest park will be closed for about three months so that city maintenance crews can dismantle and remove the old equipment.

Smith Park is the largest and most used park in Middletown.

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She said the new playground equipment will be installed after the old equipment is removed. The contractor installing the equipment is Penchura LLC, and the timeframe is dependent on the weather and the contractor’s schedule. Quinlivan said the new equipment is in storage pending the removal of the old equipment. The new playground will also feature a surface of playground chips to prevent injuries.

The total cost of the project is $68,583 with $51,438 coming from an Ohio Department of Natural Resources NatureWorks grant. A total of $10,000 will come from donations and grants from community partners, and the city will provide $7,200 for the remainder of the costs.

City officials said last spring that they were applying for a state grant to replace the playground equipment that was more than 20 years old.

Prior to Middletown City Council approving the application for the state grant, four concepts for the equipment were reviewed by the city Park Board.