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Parks & Rec Asking: 'Please Be Patient' During Final Phase Of FunSpace II Construction

Newtown Parks & Recreation Department announced Tuesday that “Dickinson Park Playground is closed until further notice. The construction company is [in] the final stages of completing the playground. Your cooperation is greatly appreciated at this time.”

It was the second time in a week that the announcement had to be made.

The brand-new playground, within the town park at 50 Elm Drive, had been dedicated on July 26. The new playground, called FunSpace II, is a replacement for the former FunSpace, which was built in 1989. The former playground was razed last year due to age and deteriorating condition.

Although the new playground was dedicated, the facility was not completely finished, with some construction remaining to be done, so the playground has not yet opened to the public.

When a date for the formal dedication was announced in July, Parks & Rec Director Amy Mangold had indicated that the event would be held even if the playground was not completely finished. Supporters of the project, including New York resident Marc Pintel and family, “who were greatly devoted to helping Newtown,” Ms Mangold said, would be traveling to Newtown “to see how their donation [and those of others have] so wonderfully impacted the scope and success of this playground.”

During the formal event on July 26, attendees were told that the playground would be open for only a few hours that day. Children played under adult supervision. The event also offered live music and refreshments.

A few days later, Parks & Rec issued a public reminder that the playground was closed.

“We need this week to finish the safety surfacing and borders,” the department announced via e-mail July 29. 

Assistant Director of Recreation RoseAnne Reggiano told The Bee on August 5 that signs that had been put in place at the playground have been disappearing.

“Everyone has to stay off” the new equipment for a little longer, she said. If park visitors and the weather will cooperate in coming days, the playground could be open as soon as next week.

“Please be patient,” said Ms Reggiano.

On Wednesday afternoon, Assistant Director of Parks Carl Samuelson was on site with Parks & Rec crews, along with contractors from Tri-State Flexi-Pave, who were at work on walkways. He confirmed that the project is still under construction as of August 6.

Resident and landscape architect Billie Cohen designed the playground. Pat Corsetti, Inc, of Mamaroneck, N.Y., constructed the playground.

The playground covers about 1.5 acres. It has natural elements, climbing stones, stationary musical instruments, and a zip line, among many other features. It is handicapped accessible.

“We will send out an e-mail when the playground is complete,” the August 5 notice from Parks & Rec concluded.

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