New playground equipment will be installed at Burholme Park

The up­grades in­clude climb­ing struc­tures and rope nets, slid­ing boards and swings, and wheel­chair-ac­cess­ible pic­nic tables. 

Burholme Park is about to get a ma­jor facelift with new play­ground equip­ment and se­cur­ity devices in the com­ing weeks, ac­cord­ing to City Coun­cil­man Bri­an O’Neill.

Speak­ing at the monthly joint meet­ing of the Fox Chase Civic As­so­ci­ation and Fox Chase Town Watch, O’Neill re­por­ted that the play equip­ment is on hand and avail­able for in­stall­a­tion in ad­vance of the peak play­ground sea­son. 

Fun­ded through Coun­cil’s cap­it­al pro­gram, the pro­ject has been in plan­ning for three to four years and will cost $492,515. O’Neill was hop­ing the in­stall­a­tion would be­gin last spring, but the equip­ment was on or­der. The coun­cil­man didn’t want delays to pre­vent neigh­bors from us­ing the fa­cil­ity throughout the spring and sum­mer.

This year, he has been as­sured the new equip­ment will be in­stalled and ready for use by the end of the cur­rent school year.

The new play equip­ment will in­clude climb­ing struc­tures and rope nets, slid­ing boards and swings. Dif­fer­ent in­stall­a­tions will be de­signed for tots and older chil­dren. There will be wheel­chair-ac­cess­ible pic­nic tables, a re­con­figured ac­cess­ible park­ing lot and paved walk­ways link­ing to an ex­ist­ing util­ity build­ing with re­strooms. The work will in­clude tree plant­ings and new bike racks.

On the se­cur­ity side, new light­ing and son­ic au­dio devices have already been in­stalled, O’Neill said. The son­ic devices pro­duce a high-pitched sound that only chil­dren and young adults can hear. They op­er­ate on timers and are meant to de­ter loiter­ers when the park is closed to the pub­lic.

At Fox Chase Re­cre­ation Cen­ter, an­oth­er cap­it­al pro­ject is still in the pre­lim­in­ary stages, O’Neill said. The coun­cil­man hopes that a play area re­design at Fox Chase Re­cre­ation Cen­ter will start be­fore the 2017-18 school year. The main ob­ject­ive is to re­lo­cate a paved drive­way that cuts through the ex­ist­ing play area, while ex­pand­ing the wa­ter spray fix­ture in front of the gym­nas­i­um.

O’Neill fur­ther re­por­ted that some re­cent main­ten­ance work at Fox Chase Branch Lib­rary was com­pleted weeks ahead of sched­ule. Ini­tially, the lib­rary was set to shut down on Jan. 28 and stay closed for a month for a wa­ter heat­er re­place­ment. But the coun­cil­man lob­bied to get over­time fund­ing for work­ers that en­abled them to fin­ish the job by Feb. 7.

In an un­re­lated top­ic, loc­al po­lice and town watch Pres­id­ent Steve Phil­lips re­spon­ded to ques­tions for the second con­sec­ut­ive month about a Christ­mas Eve shoot­ing on the 8200 block of Hal­stead St.

Of­ficers from the 7th dis­trict ar­res­ted a res­id­ent of the block on Dec. 24 after he al­legedly fired a gun at a neigh­bor’s home, which was oc­cu­pied at the time. No in­jur­ies were re­por­ted, but neigh­bors are con­cerned that the de­fend­ant may pose an ad­di­tion­al safety risk.

Court re­cords show that the 59-year-old de­fend­ant re­mained in jail un­til Jan. 3, when he was re­leased on $100,000 bail.

On Feb. 7 he waived a pre­lim­in­ary hear­ing and was ordered to stand tri­al for dis­char­ging a fire­arm in­to an oc­cu­pied struc­ture, car­ry­ing a fire­arm in pub­lic, reck­less en­dan­ger­ment and re­lated of­fenses. He is sched­uled for a Com­mon Pleas Court ar­raign­ment on Feb. 21. A tri­al date has not been set.

Phil­lips said that he has been in con­tact with the dis­trict at­tor­ney’s of­fice to en­sure that af­fected neigh­bors can sub­mit their con­cerns for the court re­cord. Neigh­bors said they would like the court to ban the de­fend­ant from pos­sess­ing guns. ••

You can reach at noreply@bsmphilly.com.

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