Friendship Heights playground swings back to the drawing board -- Gazette.Net


The village of Friendship Heights is changing its plans for two playgrounds yet again, scrapping plans for a tot lot at Willoughby Park and redesigning a playground slated for Page Park.

Julian Mansfield, village manager, said the plan is now to build just one playground that will combine elements of two playgrounds that were previously designed for separate parks.

“They’re essentially combining the two into one, but it’s going to have to be a smaller version of both,” he said.

Friendship Heights had hired designers to plan two separate playgrounds for Willoughby and Page parks, both of which are open green spaces now. Some nearby residents thought the equipment planned was too large, too brightly colored and not needed in the neighborhood, The Gazette previously reported. After another round of designs still drew complaints from some, the Village Council voted to whittle down the plans from two playgrounds to one.

Mansfield said the council scrapped the Willoughby Park playground, which was going to be a tot lot for very young children. The council is planning to sit down with designers and revise the plans for Page Park, which was planned to serve older children, to help design something for a wider age range.

“We’re kind of going back to the drawing board with merging the two concepts into one,” Mansfield said.

The council made its decision at a March 10 meeting and is scheduled to meet again April 22, though Mansfield said he was not sure whether a third playground design would be on the agenda then.

Despite the design process taking longer than expected, Mansfield said he still hopes the new Page Park playground can be completed this year, as part of the celebrations for the village’s 100th birthday.

“It’s still possibly a centennial project, but it kind of depends on how quickly we can finish up the design phase,” he said.