VALPARAISO | The design of the next generation of Valplayso will be done by Leathers and Associates, the same company that did the original design for the Valparaiso playground in 1994.
The selection was announced Tuesday by the Parks Foundation. Leathers and Associates will design the new playground, which could include some of the existing features in addition to expanding it, and will work with the community to get input from parents and children on what they would like to see as part of it.
That was the process used 20 years ago, and it involved more that 2,600 volunteers in the design and the actual construction. Leathers and Associates has offices in Ithaca, N.Y., and Jupiter, Fla., and has been in business for 42 years.
The company also makes the playground equipment, using recycled plastic structural and composite materials rather than wood. Total cost of the project from design to final construction is estimated to be $400,000.
The Parks Foundation already started the fundraising process, and Valplayso is one of the donation options people have during Thursday's GIVE Day for Kids, organized by the Porter County Community Foundation. Anyone can contribute by going to www.PorterCountyGiveDay.org.
On Nov. 30, a volunteer leadership team will be selected for the project, and on Dec. 1, Leathers and Associates will begin working with The Troyer Group. The Troyer Group was hired to create a master plan for the park.
Leathers and Associates will hold a Design Day in January, meeting with more than 600 elementary students to hear ideas for the playground just as their parents did with the company 20 years ago. The goal is to complete construction of the new park in the fall of 2014.
Updates on the playground project will be posted online at www.ValpoParksFoundation.org as well as on Facebook and Twitter and at www.ValpoParks.org.