Berea’s new playground on fast track for completion as model site for little tikes

This is an artist’s rendering of the PlayStax playground equipment by little tikes, which will be installed soon to replace the recently removed equipment next to Duerson Stadium. The project allows the city to build a safer, state-of-the-art playground for less money than was budgeted.

The new playground facilities at Berea City Park are in storage and ready to be installed, and officials are now hoping for some decent weather to get it set up. The manufacturer of the equipment, little tikes, is also sending extra personnel so that the playground can be fully installed and photographed in time to be on the cover of the company’s product catalogue, officials said.

City Administrator Randy Stone explained earlier this month that Berea will become a model regional site for little tikes, enabling the city to try out PlayStax, a fort-like structure that features three levels of activity. Designed, in part, to look like a fort built by kids, PlayStax features play paths through specialized rooms, including a “mission control,” an observatory, a kitchen, garage and game room.

The city originally budged $150,000 to replace the aging playground, which is next to Duerson Stadium. The retail value of the little tikes three-story structure, including installation, would have been $147,000, Stone said. But because Berea agreed to become a model regional site (a showplace for the PlayStax structure) the city purchased the equipment for $59,209 and pays $25,000 for installation, for a total of $84,209.

Earlier this month, crews from the City of Berea Public Works Department removed and disposed of most of the existing playground, which had been repaired and welded several times over the years, Stone said.

Once the PlayStax equipment is installed, the city will have spent approximately $65,791 less than originally budgeted for the project.

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