Contractor error delays new playground in Grass Valley |

Contractor error delays new playground in Grass Valley

The opening of the new playground at Memorial Park has been delayed until mid- to late October.
Liz Kellar/ | Photo by Liz Kellar/lizk@theunio

A brand-new playground at Memorial Park, initially scheduled to reopen in June after a brief closure to install the equipment, has been delayed until late October due to an error made by the contractor.

“It’s been frustrating,” Grass Valley City Manager Tim Kiser said.

According to a city staff report, the old play equipment in Memorial Park had been determined to be out of compliance with current codes and regulations.

Earlier this year, Grass Valley received $84,000 in grant funds from the state to use for a new playground. The cost of the project was estimated at just over $214,000, with the remainder of the money coming from Park and Recreation Development Impact fees and annual playground maintenance capital improvement projects.

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Initially, the Memorial Park playground was slated to be closed for one or two weeks and reopen at the end of June, Kiser said.

The existing structures were to be removed and replaced with a new primary play structure, a rope climbing structure, swings and other play accessories. The existing wood chips were removed with a new pour-in-place rubber surfacing to be installed.

The city hired a contractor to design and install the playground, but after the structures were installed, a problem was discovered.

A set of poles that are supposed to hold shade sails were found to be too short for the height of the equipment, Kiser said. Safety codes require that the fabric sails be at least eight feet from the play structure, he explained.

Complicating the situation, Kiser said, is that the pour-in-place rubber matting cannot be installed until the taller poles are installed, because cutting it would void the warranty. Grass Valley had opted to go with the more expensive rubber matting to replace the existing bark, which was problematic due to periodic freezes that would force the city to close the playground.

The contractor has taken responsibility for the problem with the playground, Kiser said, adding that the new poles are set to arrive by the end of September. Kiser estimated the playground be up and running and open to the public by mid to late October.

Contact reporter Liz Kellar at 530-477-4236 or by email at

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