The widely anticipated installation of a new playground and rubber surface at Mead Park—a project nearly two years in development—is expected to be completed next month, officials say.
A collaboration between the town and Friends of Mead Park Playground, the project will see preparation work for the new play structures and a “Poured-In-Place” surface commence during the last week in April with a target completion date of late-May, according to Recreation Director Steve Benko.
The 20-year-old playground structure that had been there was recently removed (it’s going to be refurbished and sent for use in an underdeveloped country) after the New Canaan Department of Public Works’ Highway Department helped disassemble it in a single day, Benko told members of the Parks & Recreation Commission at their most recent meeting.
“The first step to is to grade the area, level it off and then we will install the playground, put the stone in and the concrete borders and then the last step is to put the Poured-In-Place surface in,” he said at the meeting, held April 10 at Town Hall. “And that is probably going to be in mid- to late-May to put that in, because the temperatures should be in the 50s to do that. Otherwise, it doesn’t cure properly. It’s hard to work when it’s cold. It’s like a polyurethane rubber, they pour it out and they trowel in place, so it’s labor intensive. If the temperature is warm, it moves very easily.”
Advocates of the PIP surface say it’s safer, more attractive and easier to maintain than options such as mulch or sand.
The town two years ago approved funds to upgrade and replace some of the playground equipment at Mead Park. Saying Mead is an important gathering spot and point of entry for young New Canaan families, two moms formed a local group to help raise money and weigh in on the future playground area. The Friends of Mead Park Playground succeeded in its efforts, though a very wet fall last year pushed the installation back to this spring.