Berhampore playground late and expensive
May 30, 2019
A Wellington playground is a month late in being completed and already more than $150,000 over budget.
Wakefield park play area on Adelaide Road is still under construction, despite the Wellington City Council’s original completion date set for the end of April.
The council’s play space policy was reviewed in April 2017, and playgrounds were allocated more funding in the long term plan.
The council had spent just over $1,133,000 on playgrounds this year, almost four times last year’s spending.
According to a council spending report on capital expenditure on playground renewals and upgrades, construction of the Wakefield play area would be the most expensive project this year by about $300,000.
The playground was originally allocated $300,000 by the council during planning, but the report showed the spending to date as $453,707 – more than $150,000 over budget.
Work began in March, and the council originally predicted a completion date of end of April. They then amended that to the end of May.
Now nearing the end of May, the playground is still unfinished, with only a few pieces of equipment installed and wire fencing around the site.
In 2017, the council presented the public with two possible locations for the new play area. One option was next to the Olympic Football Club building, north of the sports fields, and the other was across busy Adelaide Road, next to the skate park.
According to the council, 92 percent of responses preferred the second location.
The council also asked for feedback on the plans, and received input from local children.
As a result, the council said it would feature “a broad range of play activities that suit a community playground”.
Play equipment would include a carousel, a basket swing, a central climbing tower, and a flying fox, in keeping with the council’s accessibility goals.
Councillor David Lee said all playground upgrades and renewals would feature accessible equipment, which would allow children with limited mobility to enjoy the spaces.
According to the council there was “strong support for the draft plan,” and the feedback resulted in “a few small addition items for the play space,” including bike and scooter stands, another picnic table, and a seesaw springer.
Cr Lee said it wasn’t unusual for costs to overrun the budget. “With anything that involves construction and people’s wages, it’s very difficult to fix down costs,” he said.
He predicted at least another two weeks of work before the playground was completed, moving the completion date to mid-June.