ATASCADERO — City officials, including members of the City Council and the Parks and Recreation Commission, gathered at Atascadero Lake Park Tuesday along with a group of excited youngsters for the unveiling of new playground equipment and a new rubberized play surface.
The project, designed and constructed by Great Western Recreation/Game Time along with feedback from City staff and elected officials, was paid for using $280,000 in grant funding received by the City for hitting its low-cost housing goals.
The biggest new component at the playground is a huge play structure designed for children ages 5-12 that incorporates a nature theme and has two large towers with slides. There is also a new swing set with regular swings, toddler swings and new “adaptive” swings built for two people. According to City engineer Nick DeBar, an existing toddler play structure was left in place because it is “still very much serviceable.”
Mayor Tom O’Malley cut the ribbon on the new play structure, unleashing a horde of excited children waiting to break it in.
“I love Atascadero because our community does so many things for kids,” O’Malley said. “Volunteers built Alvord Field over there, the Kiwanis built the bandstand and Mr. Paddock built the zoo, all volunteer efforts. And now, you know why we have this playground? We got a grant to pay for all of this because a lot of folks did sweat equity building houses — People’s Self-Help Housing, where people build their own houses — we did such a good job in Atascadero building housing for people that we were eligible for a grant, several hundred thousand dollars we got to
Addressing concerns expressed on Facebook that the new rubberized surface might be too hot during Atascadero summers, O’Malley asked a group of assembled Atascadero firefighters — O’Malley’s “experts on hot” — to reach down and have a feel. He then asked them, “is it hot?” To which they replied in unison, “It’s cool!”