Regulations Mean No Wood in New McKinley Park Playground

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It’s only been a few days since a fire destroyed a section of McKinley Park’s playground, but already there are plans to rebuild in the works.

“A reasonable schedule is to get that done before next summer, so by next May,” City Councilman Steven Cohn says.

But a lot needs to happen before then.

Cohn says they met last night to come up with a timeline: August, they’ll demolish the burnt part, then they will reach out to the community about design plans for a new one.

“Public outreach is important. We need to hear from the public including my 7-year-old neighbor, a little girl who told me what she wanted to see,” Cohn says.

But codes and regulations have changed since the playground was built back in 1994. They might have to demolish the whole thing and rebuild from scratch.

“You can’t replace a portion of it because then the current regulations and ADA requirements kick in,” Cohn says.

One major change with the future playground; it will not be made out of wood.

“The safety code will not allow wood. You have to use plastic or composite materials nowadays,” Cohn says.

In this case, Cecily Hastings with Friends of East Sacramento says it would likely be trex, a material that looks like wood often used for things like decking.

Some people at the park already upset about the fire are now saddened to hear of these changes.

Hastings says the pine playground required twice a year preservative maintenance.

“You can get the same look but something that has less cost and less maintenance to maintain.”

As for money, the playground is insured but there’s a $100,000 dollars deductible. That money would need to be raised.

Cohn says all in all a new playground might end up totaling more than half a million dollars.

“I’m sure there will be lots of people willing to help out. I’ve already heard from hundreds.”

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