Children will see new toys at Lampe |

Children will see new toys at Lampe

by Sharon Carter

Park ranger Peter Knight and his crew watched and guided the Gradall operator as he lowered his tractor’s boom Thursday. As the awkward maroon roof was brought close to its resting place atop straw-colored pillars, the men pulled it in and adjusted it. The process was repeated as another 350-pound roof was mounted above the other elevated platform of the Lampe Park’s new play system.

Less than an hour later, they had mounted the tallest slide at the play system’s east end. By late Friday, they speculated, their week-long job of assembling the system would be complete except for the final touches.

The new $45,000 system, according to Park Supervisor and acting Park Superintendent Craig Burnside, has been in the works for six years.

“Each budget they said, ‘Maybe next year,’ and made it a carry-over item,” Burnside said. “Well, next year’s finally here.”

The new system incorporates bits and pieces of the park’s older equipment, but the old metal-bed slide known as Big Red to a generation of Carson Valley children was removed. Now there are no sharp edges and fewer objects to bump into.

“The new slide is the same height as Big Red, but it has enclosed stairway access and meets federal safety guidelines,” Burnside said.

Burnside said the 5,200-square-foot system, primarily designed for 6- to 12-year-olds, is designed to be added on to. It has a total of six slides, three elevated platforms, a cargo climber, a spiral climber and a rubber-encased chain ladder. There are six big and four tot swings.

“We plan to move the (older) spring toys inside the play area,” he said. “And the system is handicap accessible.”

For Peter Knight and his crew, installing the giant, erector set-style system has taken less time than expected.

“It’ll be at least another week before we get the wood chip play surface in, and there are other little things,” Knight said. “But since we start work on the big arena at the fairgrounds next week, we’ll keep busy.”

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