Playground plans put in park

Kids won’t be doing flips on playground equipment at Prospect Park for awhile, because a manufacturer’s representative for that equipment – most of which was to have been installed by volunteers this past weekend – failed to execute a flip.

Landscape architect Steve Parks, working for the Central Blair Recreation and Park Commission, flipped the original catalog design of manufacturer GameTime so the equipment would fit on the site, Parks said Monday.

Someone in the office of Bitting Recreation of Harrisburg, a GameTime dealer, however, placed an order to the factory that was based on the catalog design – rendering about three-quarters of the 113 pre-drilled equipment support posts unusable, according to commission Executive Director Mike Hofer.

That meant that volunteers recruited to assemble playground complexes at both Prospect Park and Memorial Park in Juniata got only the smaller set at Memorial completed over the weekend.

“It was one of those stupid things that happens,” Parks said Monday. “This stuff happens all the time in construction.”

“We’re going to do our best to make it right,” said Denny Bolitho of Bitting. “The Central Blair Recreation and Park Commission is one of our top customers.”

It will cost his firm about $3,500, he said. “First time it ever happened to me.”

“It happened, and we just need to make the best of the situation,” said Hofer, who has been trying to coordinate the work of several parties – his own agency, the Booker T. Washington Revitalization Committee, community volunteers, Bitting, GameTime, GameTime’s installment contractor, the commission’s site work contractor and Parks.

The manufacturer is making new posts, and they should be here within two weeks, Bolitho said.

The others are “pretty much useless” and will remain with the commission, he said.

The commission found out about the problem Friday evening, and work stopped at Prospect – after the preparation of all the post holes – Saturday afternoon, he said.

Extra volunteers who were at Prospect were sent to Memorial, which helped that job get finished by Sunday afternoon, he said.

The extra hands helped, as that job proved more challenging than expected, Hofer said.

Hofer will put the call out again for volunteers through the media and Facebook as soon as he knows when the posts will be here and he can secure a date for continuing the work at Prospect, he said.