Old playground at Purple Heart Park fails inspection, will be removed

Old playground at Purple Heart Park fails inspection, will be removed
Published: Sep. 14, 2023 at 7:41 AM MST|Updated: Sep. 14, 2023 at 8:25 AM MST
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TUCSON, Ariz. (13 News) - Tucson crews are making plans to remove a playground at Purple Heart Park near Rita Road and Houghton.

It’s set to happen September 18th after the playground didn’t pass a recent inspection, and because of it’s age, the pieces needed to fix it are no longer made.

Leaders with Tucson Parks and Recreation say this has actually been a long time coming. In 2015, the structure was identified as a playground which needed to be replaced. But the neighborhood association asked for it to be kept as long as possible.

Eight years later a certified playground safety inspector now says this playground is unsafe.

“Slides will get cracked, that’s something that happens a lot in Arizona because the sun can do a lot of damage on the slides,” public information officer for Tucson Parks and Recreation Sierra Boyer said. “If a piece of very old playground equipment is damaged and we have to remove it and we can no longer replace it or retrofit it then that part of the playground would just be a drop-off, or we’d have to find a way to block off that part of the playground.”

Boyer says that’s why this one has to be removed. Now there is a newer playground already here at the park.

According to the master plan, where the old playground sits will be part of the parking expansion. That’s in phase three which isn’t supposed to start until 2026 but with the playground being removed early, construction could start sooner.

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