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Development News

Pittsburgh welcomes spray parks, handicap-accessible playgrounds

Several city and county parks are receiving cost-efficient, all-inclusive play facilities.

Various neighborhoods and townships are seeing the construction of spray parks, which look like playgrounds with built-in sprinklers, and serve a similar community function as swimming pools, but cost less to maintain and are wheelchair accessible.

Troy Hill celebrated the opening of the city’s first spray park this month, a 3,600-square foot facility on the site of the former public pool, which closed in 2003 due to budget cuts. Future spray parks are planned for Beechview, which should open by the end of summer, as well as Beltzhoover, East Hills and Mellon Park, which are still in planning stages, according to project architect James Sauer.

Spray parks are also being planned for Elizabeth Township and West Deer Township. These parks, which cost a total of about $649,000, are slated to open in August, according to Kevin Evanto with Allegheny County.

The county has also announced the construction of two handicap-accessible playgrounds in North and Boyce Parks, the first of their kind in Western Pennsylvania. The playgrounds, designed by Harrisburg-based Game Time, include specialized swings, wheelchair-accessible ramps and platforms wide enough for two wheelchairs to pass each other. Boyce Park’s playground is expected to be complete in early June, and North Park’s in early July.

Allegheny County received a National Childhood Obesity Grant to help pay for nearly half of the $310,000 cost of the playground equipment.

“We want to make sure people of all ages and capabilities have the opportunity to enjoy the region’s public parks,” says Evanto.

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Writer: Caralyn Green
Sources: Kevin Evanto, Allegheny County Director of Communications; James Sauer, J.T. Sauer & Associates

Image courtesy J.T. Sauer & Associates
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