OKC Playgrounds Closed Longer Than Expected Due To Safety Concerns

Wednesday, December 5th 2012, 10:08 pm
By: News 9

What was supposed to only take two weeks is on track to last more than two months. Playgrounds throughout Oklahoma City are still closed after hazardous material was discovered in October.

10/11/2012 Related Story: Seven OKC Playgrounds To Close Due To Safety Concerns

Some playgrounds are already reopen, others will take more time, according to city officials.

"I've seen a lot of parks actually like this around the city," Kisha Nicholas, who lives near Youngs Park in southwest OKC said.

Seven playgrounds in seven different parks are affected by what the city is calling a dangerous situation where kids can get hurt from roofing and insulation materials mixed inside the spongy pad surrounding the playground equipment.

‘We've never had that before," Wendel Whisenhunt, Oklahoma City Parks and Recreation director said.

The playgrounds at Douglas Park, 500 N.W. 47th Street and at Route 66 Park, 9901 NW 23rd Street are reopened.

The Youngs Park playground near S.W. 44th and Pennsylvania is expected to reopen by the end of the first week of December.

The playgrounds at Lake Draper Concession, Lake Draper North Point, Washington and Woodrun parks will likely not be ready until January of 2013.

"Sometimes I'm sad because I don't get to play at the playground," 7-year-old Jaden Mejia said.

Jaden and her older brother Christian have been waiting long enough.

"I've been wanting to play at [the park] for a couple weeks," 12-year-old Christian Mejia said. "I didn't think they were going to open it again."

The city says the project is taking longer than expected because officials now realize the risky debris is deeper than they originally thought. That means more time and money.

The company that installed the turf has refunded the city our tax dollars, but the city is still trying to get money back on the cost to remove the turf.

Playgrounds at the following parks are affected:

Douglas Park, 500 NW 47th St. - Reopened

Lake Draper Concession - Closed

Lake Draper North Point -Closed

Route 66 Park, 9901 NW 23rd St – Reopened

Washington Park, 400 N. High - Closed

Woodrun Park, 4 N Willowood Dr - Closed

Youngs Park, 4610 S Youngs – Scheduled to reopen in early December