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Columbia's park and recreation hopes to upgrade Steinberg playground

By Sherree Burruss, Sports Reporter, sherree.burruss@kmiz.com
Published On: Jul 20 2013 06:24:58 PM CDT
Park and rec officials plan to upgrade Steinberg playground

None of Columbia's park playgrounds are handicapped accessible and changing it will cost hundreds of thousands of dollars.

The city wants to invest more than half a million dollars -- and nine months -- in just one of those playgrounds.

It's a plan parks and recreation leaders will push for starting at Cosmo Park's Steinberg playground.

Parks and rec officials recognize this need for change and hope to create the opportunity for all families and children to play in a safer and interactive place.

Steinberg playground in Cosmo park is one of the city's most popular.

That is why city officials plan on making some necessary changes."You can see from the kids using the playground today they just go all over, they don't just go to age specific equipment, and that is kind of the idea to open up the playground really up to everyone," said Matt Boehner, senior parks planner with Columbia parks and recreation.

The playground will have a time machine theme, with a safety upgrade for all the equipment.

"The safety standards have changed a lot since this playground was built from fall heights to the type of equipment to the speeds types of swings and lots of it is along the lines of surfacing access and distance away from certain types of features," said Boehner.

One parent at the park today come to the park often with her 5-year-old son and is excited about the changes. "It looks great! They've got different stations, I see they have a nature prehistoric section. I think he'll love that and as he gets older it looks like he can enjoy different parts of the park," Becky Davis said.

Park planners hope to inspire kids' imaginations and incorporate education. "A life-sized triceratops skull for kids to play on and investigate and signage for educational purposes," Boehner said,

The proposal will be before council early August and officials hope construction will begin in early October.

The half million dollars for the renovations comes from a 2010 sales tax vote by Columbia residents.

Another $18,000 comes from the Disabilities Commission.

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