Glendale playgrounds

Playground equipment at Verdugo Park, donated by the Americana at Brand to Glendale as part of citywide upgrades to parks, pictured on Friday, Feb, 14, 2014. (Tim Berger / Staff Photographer / February 14, 2014)

A slate of projects for new playground equipment pushed forward this week.

Equipment for Verdugo Park is installed and open to the public, while two contracts were approved by the City Council Tuesday night for equipment to go to Brand and Maryland Avenue parks. City officials noted equipment for New York Park has been installed and should be open soon.

In all, there are seven planned and funded Glendale playground equipment replacement projects, including work at Palmer, Pacific and Maple parks. All work is scheduled to be completed by the fall. Further in the future, city officials are looking to six additional projects.

Park Planning and Development Administrator Emil Tatevosian said city workers check Glendale’s playgrounds on an ongoing basis for safety and code compliance.

“Safety and security is our top priority,” he said.

The used and certified equipment installed at Verdugo Park North was donated by the Americana at Brand, according to a report prepared by the Department of Community Services and Parks. That park had been devoid of a playground for several years, with the exception of a lone swing set, following the removal of an unsafe wooden playground.

The City Council approved the approximate $100,500 contract with North Carolina-based PlayPower LT Farmington Inc. to install equipment at Maryland Avenue Park and an approximate $143,000 contract to Minnesota-based Landscape Structures, Inc. for equipment at Brand Park. Landscape Structures, Inc. has installed equipment at other Glendale parks, Tatevosian said. The play structures at Maryland Park are for 2- to 5-year-olds as well as for 5- to 12-year-olds.

Funding for the Maryland Avenue Park playground comes from a state grant while Brand Park’s comes from a capital improvement project account.

Tatevosion said it is more economical to choose standard equipment. However, he noted it’s worth considering creative and customized equipment, such as what’s being discussed for the Maple and Palmer parks. Councilwoman Laura Friedman agreed.

“When I’ve gone to playgrounds and I see now in San Diego this really great and unusual playground equipment,” she said, noting if exceptions can be made for something different at certain parks, it should be discussed.

“If it’s a question of a little bit of money, I’d like to see it spent on something really amazing,” she said.

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