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Kids Castle opens at last


Kids Castle, the Doylestown playground once named one of the “World’s Most Unbelievable Playgrounds,” is now even more unbelievable.

The castle, redesigned for all abilities reopened to the delight of many at 7 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 23.

The playground has been closed since late March for new equipment installation. It was originally scheduled to reopen in June, but the work was delayed, thanks to Mother Nature.

“Several optimistic completion dates were estimated and needed to be extended due to ongoing torrential rains throughout the entire project,” explained Joe Salvati, chairman of Friends of Kids Castle.

The muddied area lasted long after the rains had fallen and made it impossible at times to continue work. Contractors rescheduled work when there were delays because of muddy conditions.

Part of the improvements also included a newly designed drainage system to adequately remit water offsite, according to Salvati.

In addition to these inclusive play upgrades, the improvements included the installation of a new more durable safety surfacing called poured-in-place (PIP)

The more than 7,000 square feet of new poured-in-place (PIP) safety surfacing required no rain in the forecast 24-hours prior to installation and no rain 24-hours after the installation.

“Any time time rain was forecast, the PIP installation needed to be rescheduled,” Salvati said. “This is all part of the normal process with these materials and with a project of this size and scope.”

But all in all, the length of closure is not unusual for the amount of work done, he said.

And it was worth the wait.

During the closure, crews have been working to install new play structures for children with a variety of abilities. Play features to be added include items for children with visual impairment, hearing impairment, autism/SPD, mobility impairment, and cognitive disabilities.

“The new play structures installed meet the needs of children with a variety of abilities at all ends of the spectrum to encourage and enable them to play with one another,” said Salvati. “Kids will now be able to participate equally and independently at their own skill level along with family and friends.”

The surfacing also provides equal access to the playground for all and ease in maneuverability for children and adults using mobility devices including wheelchairs.

Salvati said that while there was no ribbon cutting scheduled, the reopening of Kids Castle was grand in of itself.

“Kids Castle has reopened to the cheers from Doylestown Township families and families who visit from the tri-county area, said Supervisor Chair Barbara N. Lyons.

“The Castle has always been a magical place, winning international recognition and numerous nationwide and statewide awards. Now, it is even more special providing safe places for play for children of all abilities.

“We are very proud of our Castle and credit Kid’s Castle Chairman and Township resident Joe Salvati, for spearheading the recreation of this special place and we are grateful for the talent and skill of our Public Works crew that help put the bits and pieces all together. “

Word of the reopening reached all the way to the North Pole. Santa is so excited to hear all that has been accomplished for the children that he is planning a visit to Kids Castle 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 15.

The Kids Castle playground is in its 22nd year serving the public as a free community-built playground.

Volunteers raised over $500,000 for the improvement project to update the playground for children of all abilities including kids with special needs.

The funds raised include a $200K grant from the state Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, grants from other organizations, generous sponsorships, and individual donations from the community.

“We are so very thankful for all the help we received from all the volunteers, the Township and to those who were able to give their time, talents and dollars to make this all happen,” Salvati said.

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