Princeton playground.jpg

This graphic shows the playground recently approved by the city council to be installed outside the Princeton Civic Center.

Princeton’s Civic Center Park will have a new playground soon, after Public Works Director Bob Gerold found a set for almost half its normal price.

The Princeton City Council approved shuffling some money around for a deal to get playground equipment valued at $80,180 for just $55,380.40 total.

Gerold asked the council for approval to use some money from the Capital Improvement Project that was initially budgeted for paving trails in Riverside Park, during the council’s April 8 meeting.

“I believe we can cover that with the donation from the Bernick’s Foundation for paving trails, because it is coming out of the same CIP fund,” Gerold said.

Gerold clarified that the funds would not come from the Bernick donation, but from the CIP funds set aside for paving trails, which was no longer needed thanks to the donation.

Replacing the playground was already in the CIP for this year, but was budgeted for $50,000. The equipment itself was for sale at $48,168, but shipping and other costs drove it above the $50,000 budget.

The new playground is called a Guerrys Landing, produced by Game Time. It is rated for children 5-12 years old and can hold 45-50 kids, according to council documents. It will be installed alongside an older metal swing set and merry-go-round already at the park.

Jill Papesh, chair of the Park and Recreation Advisory Board, estimated the park itself likely has not received much attention in over a decade. But since the Civic Center was refurbished, the facility is seeing more traffic.

“People are renting it out for parties, graduations, weddings, civic events — whatever it might be,” Papesh said. “So the park board and the City Council agreed that we should have something up there for the kids.”

The Civic Center was rehabilitated several years ago. The city provided some of the labor and money, but much of the funding came in as donations from local organizations. In particular, the Woodcock Herbst Legion Post 126 donated $100,000 to the project in exchange for using the facility five times a month rent-free, according to previous reporting.

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