Let's play!

The Chalf­ont Play­ground in Mill­brook had been closed for months for a sig­ni­fic­ant makeover. Now it's back, and the neigh­bor­hood's kids couldn't be hap­pi­er.

Faye, Some pho­tos I took on Fri­day af­ter­noon when the ren­ov­ated Chalf­ont Play­ground on Deer­path Lane in Mill­brook was opened up. Two two pho­tos: Kher­ing­ton Lord, 3, tried out the new slid­ing board at the Chalf­ont Play­ground on Deer­path Lane in Mill­brook. The play­ground had been closed for sev­er­al months while new equip­ment was in­stalled. Fen­cing was taken down Fri­day af­ter­noon, and loc­al kids and their par­ents came over for a look and some fun. Little boy is Jac­ob Gil­bert, 4, on the new swings.


The kids were back at Chalf­ont Play­ground on Deer­path Lane last Fri­day. Why not? The play­ground, which had been closed for renov­a­tions since the end of sum­mer, opened for busi­ness.

As the sun played hide-n-seek with clouds on Fri­day af­ter­noon, little kids ran around on cush­ioned ground, hit the swings and zoomed down the slide.

Work­ers from Ben­s­alem-based Bright­line Con­struc­tion opened the gates to the fun by tak­ing down the fen­cing that had sur­roun­ded the more than $500,000 im­prove­ments.

“The con­tract­or did a great job,” said re­cre­ation lead­er Christine Re­illy and as­sist­ant re­cre­ation lead­er Bobby Hill as they watched par­ents and chil­dren crowd in­to the play­ground.

“Everything is new, even the grass,” Hill and Re­illy said.

Large trees were pre­served dur­ing the con­struc­tion. The new equip­ment is rugged and safe, par­ents said.

Also new are nine se­cur­ity cam­er­as that tape the well-lighted play­ground 24 hours a day, sev­en days a week, Hill said.

Ed Mor­rin likes the new look, and he knows the area well. He’s lived across from the rec cen­ter for 58 years and star­ted a bas­ket­ball league there in 1961.

“I re­mem­ber when it was all woods; I re­mem­ber see­ing pheas­ants,” Mor­rin said Fri­day.

Con­tract­or Wil­li­am Arnold said re­pla­cing the equip­ment and the rest of the work took about four months.

City Coun­cil­man Bri­an O’Neill (R-10th dist.), whose cap­it­al funds paid for the im­prove­ments, said the old play­ground was on dif­fer­ent levels. Now it’s on one, which makes it easi­er for par­ents to keep their eyes on their chil­dren.

“It now looks four to five times big­ger than what was here be­fore,” he said.

The coun­cil­man said res­id­ents came out to meet­ings to talk about what they wanted in the play­ground.

“The people who used the play­ground pretty much de­signed it,” he said.

O’Neill said the re­cre­ation equip­ment in­dustry has grown and mod­ern­ized in the past sev­er­al years. There are new con­cepts, he said, and the em­phas­is on safety is im­press­ive.

The ground cush­ion­ing, for ex­ample, is 4 inches thick, Arnold said.

More work will be done at Chalf­ont, the coun­cil­man said, adding that the next phase in­volves im­prove­ments to bas­ket­ball courts.

The Deer­path Lane play­ground is one of sev­er­al that have been im­proved in O’Neill’s dis­trict, he said, and they be­come big draws.

“They’re mobbed all the time,” he said. ••


You can reach at jloftus@bsmphilly.com.

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