Cody Child Development Center playground project planned
April 22, 2013
JOINT BASE MYER-HENDERSON HALL, Va. - Plans are underway for a playground renovation project at the largest child development center within the Department of Defense - The Cody Child Development Center on Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall. The overhaul will provide age appropriate playground equipment, eliminate the systemic drainage problems, and improve the overall safety of the facility for the children.
As a result of command leadership emphasis on the playground with a critical eye towards safety and functionality, combined with an Army Installation Management Command G9 evaluation, the playground renovation project request was approved.
By the end of August, approximately 344 children at the facility will have a new playground designed to meet their developmental needs.
The Cody CDC playground is now compliant and within DoD guidelines, however, the existing playground design does not meet the current needs of the patrons enrolled nor is it a long term sustainable design due to drainage problems.
"Improving [the playground] is going to be beneficial for everybody, it's going to help the staff with supervision and the children will be able to play out there on a daily basis, regardless of what the weather has been on previous days," said Dawn Thompson, acting coordinator of Child, Youth and School Services.
"After it rained, the playground flooded a lot and was muddy, so it was difficult to get out there and play for a couple of days," said Blane Butler, support manager for Services with Directorate of Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation on JBM-HH and the contracting officer's representative for the project.
"The renovation will include artificial turf surfaces in play areas to withstand the effects of constant use. Also, appropriate resilient surfacing will be installed to provide safe surfaces for active play time on the playground equipment and tricycle paths will be built and separated from other play areas," he said.
Thompson said the project will also include installation of a new drainage system throughout the various play areas; installation of fencing; relocation of fence lines to ensure sufficient emergency evacuation distance is achieved in the play areas. New age-appropriate playground equipment and canopies will also be installed.
"The project is estimated to begin the end of May and be completed around the August time frame," said Thompson. "To speed up the process, all the existing playground equipment in each play area will be removed at the same time, rather than completing one play area at a time."
There will be alternatives available for the children to have outdoor play during the project. "In the front of Cody CDC, there is a small, grassy area we can use. We have Army Family Covenant buses which can transport the children to the CDC building T-482 to use on occasion, and we can use the softball field after the [servicemembers] are done with PT in the morning and before it's busy there in the afternoon," said Thompson.
"I think the playground project is going to be well worth the time, energy and money spent for the day-to-day use and quality of life for the children," she said.