Kaytlynn Williams and J.J. Peasant

Kaytlynn Williams and J.J. Peasant

Langford’s Playzone gets update

Council gives kudos to staff and thumbs up for the facility

Children playing in one popular family-friendly spot have literally worn out the carpet.

Langford’s Playzone, which was installed at the Eagle Ridge Community Centre in City Centre Park in 2008, is eying some much-needed upgrades and renovations after seven years of use.

Langford council recently approved funding for the improvements, which include new flooring, a new play structure and two couches for a total approximate cost of $50,000. Council also agreed to allow the operators a four-year repayment term for the City’s capital costs of $25,000 for new play equipment, instead of the two-year term recommended by Langford staff.

Facility manager Gerry St. Cyr said the planned upgrades would help keep the facility up- to-date and continue to draw in the community.

“It infuses that new feeling,” he said. “It’s just giving something to the community.” He said their aim was to keep things new and exciting at City Centre Park. “We make sure things are current and not just sitting there.”

Representatives of Performance Plus, which manages the facility on behalf of the City, appeared before council last week seeking funding for the improvements.

Playzone includes a large indoor play structure and Balladium room, an interactive game where players shoot foam balls at targets. The current play surface floor is carpet, and while it is regularly cleaned, daily spills and mishaps continue to create issues with cleaning and generate health concerns.

“The Playzone’s so busy, that’s why the floor’s worn out,” said Coun. Lillian Szpak, acting mayor at the Aug. 17 meeting. She thanked staff for all of the great work they do.

The funding request asked that the old carpet be replaced with a new rubberized floor, which will cost approximately

$42,000. A successful application for a provincial Tire Stewardship Grant will help cover about 50 per cent of that cost.

“The floor at Playzone is really bad and this rubberized flooring will go a long way towards making it a better facility,” said Coun. Lanny Seaton.

Performance Plus reported seeing a decline in use of the facility, and subsequently its revenue. Its request stated the decline could be due to aging equipment and the need for constant repairs in some areas, especially in the Balladium room, which is reaching the end of its useful life.

Besides new rubberized flooring, suggested upgrades called for the City to remove the Balladium Room and replace it with an additional play structure that will include a new state-of-the-art EyePlay interactive floor game.

The new equipment, produced by Orca Coast Playground Ltd., will tie into the existing structures made by the same company.