Springboro will use remaining ARPA funds in nearly $4M upgrade of North Park

First phase includes major changes to 25-year-old playground

The city of Springboro plans a multi-year, nearly $4 million project to make significant upgrades to North Park, starting with the playground equipment, and with federal COVID relief funds playing a role.

City Manager Chris Pozzuto said staff felt that upgrading the outdated playground equipment would be the best way to benefit the community, and the remaining American Rescue Plan Act funds would allow the city to accomplish this. He said the current playground equipment is about 25 years old.

The proposed Phase 1 plan shows nearly 30,000 square feet of all-accessible playground space with a safety surface, a tower, swing set, all-accessible “zipline,” a toddler area, an area for children ages 5-12, and many musical instruments, which are a big hit with the children, Pozzuto said.

For a size comparison, he said the new playground area at Kacie Jane Park is about 10,000 square feet. He said North Park — along Tamarack Trail west of 741 — is the busiest of the city’s parks and attracts a lot of people who enjoy the amenities and the summer concert series.

City officials are hoping to begin construction of the playground area in March or April and have it completed by early fall. Pozzuto said the city also wanted to replace the playground equipment at the park with equipment that is inclusive and compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act. He said only 5% of playgrounds nationwide reach this level of ADA compliance.

“Unfortunately we are at the mercy of the slow supply chain, and right now there is at least an 8-12 week lead time on playground equipment and the safety surface, “Pozzuto said. “But we will move as quickly as possible to make this happen, as we feel this will really become a destination point for our residents — we think they are going to love it.”

About $1.4 million was appropriated in the city’s 2023 budget for the playground project. There is about $1.9 million in ARPA funds remaining for the city to utilize.

In addition, the overall master plan shows new dedicated pickleball courts, a new picnic shelter, a new plaza and upgrades to the amphitheater.

The entire project will be a two or three-phase project over a few years and is estimated to cost roughly $3.5 million to $4 million to complete, Pozzuto said.

“After exhausting the ARPA funds for the playground, we want to make sure everything is budgeted properly, so spreading out the project over a few years will certainly help with that,” said Pozzuto.

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