While there is no firm date for the playground to reopen, Salvati said he’s “hoping and anticipating” it will be late August or early September. It closed in April.
Salvati and Township Manager Stephanie Mason cited the extremely wet spring and summer as the primary reason for the extended closure, which has gone on longer than originally thought.
“No one could predict the torrential rains,” said Salvati. And, Mason noted, the project is supported by many volunteers, including significant in-kind contributions from a variety of businesses who are offering “tremendous help.”
“We appreciate everyone’s patience,” said Mason.
“We understand the disappointment,” Salvati said, and why some have questioned why it couldn’t have been done during the winter. However, he added, this is not a project that could have been done in cold months. Both the scope and the necessity for equipment to be able to dig into the ground prohibited that.
When this latest renovation is finished, Kids Castle, first built in 1997, will have one more unique feature, explained Salvati. A large “poured-in-place” section, that provides shock-absorbing surfacing suitable for wheelchairs to easily traverse is being added.
A “huge structure,” with a ramp and play panels to engage children with autism, hearing and visual impairments and other disabilities will be available for all children to experience. “Many, many play pieces are being installed,” added Salvati.
With broad community support, volunteers created Save Kids Castle and raised some $500,000 (including a $200,00 matching grant from the state’s Department of Conservation and Natural Resources) to bring a fully inclusive play environment to the beloved Kids Castle.
“When it’s done, it’s going to be fabulous…a playground for all children to play together,” said Mason.
Kids Castle was also closed for several months in 2013, when it underwent intensive repairs and equipment replacement.
To learn more about the latest project and make a contribution, visit savekidscastle.org
Kids Castle will remain closed a little longer, as work continues on an ambitious project to transform the popular Doylestown Township playground into an inclusive play area that children with special needs can fully enjoy, said Joe Salvati, chairman of Friends of Kids Castle.