© HEATHER TAWEEL/THE GUARDIAN
It was a facelift that didn't go over so well with area residents around Connaught Square in Charlottetown. In this July 2015 file photo, Chris O'Brien, left, and Jean Guy Hall, right, with Playtech, measure an area for landscape turf as David Rupert, with Charlottetown's parks and recreation department, looks on. The heritage square was upgraded with natural-looking play equipment, landscape turf, new lighting and benches. Parents in the area complained and asked the city to put traditional playground equipment back. The city has just issued a request for proposals to do just that.
Traditional playground equipment is coming back to Connaught Square in Charlottetown.
The city has issued a request for proposals for new playground equipment for the heritage square.
Area residents were not happy with changes made in the fall when the city took out the the traditional swings and slides and replaced them with more natural-looking climbing and spinning equipment to play on.
Coun. Mitchell Tweel, chairman of the parks and recreation committee, said he was made aware after being named to the portfolio that nearby residents were not happy.
"They weren't happy with the concept that parks and recreation had installed,'' Tweel said, adding that he received emails and phone calls on the issue.
"Residents weren't collaborated with. The message was loud and clear.''
A public meeting was held and that feedback made its way to council, leading to the RFP process.
So, the city is now looking for equipment that includes one stand-alone structure for children two to five years old and kids from five to 12 years old.
This structure will have to be able to accommodate at least 40 children at any one time and include a double tot slide, a wave slide, a six-foot spiral slide and nine to 10 activity panels. The RFP also calls for two swing sets.
Tweel says Connaught Square isn't just a neighbourhood park, it has a regional appeal.
"The city wants to increase density in the downtown. We want more people living in the downtown and they want to take their kids to parks.''
The RFP process closes on Friday. Tweel said council hopes to award the tender during its regular public meeting on April 11 with construction this summer.