The Chalfont Playground in Millbrook had been closed for months for a significant makeover. Now it's back, and the neighborhood's kids couldn't be happier.
The kids were back at Chalfont Playground on Deerpath Lane last Friday. Why not? The playground, which had been closed for renovations since the end of summer, opened for business.
As the sun played hide-n-seek with clouds on Friday afternoon, little kids ran around on cushioned ground, hit the swings and zoomed down the slide.
Workers from Bensalem-based Brightline Construction opened the gates to the fun by taking down the fencing that had surrounded the more than $500,000 improvements.
“The contractor did a great job,” said recreation leader Christine Reilly and assistant recreation leader Bobby Hill as they watched parents and children crowd into the playground.
“Everything is new, even the grass,” Hill and Reilly said.
Large trees were preserved during the construction. The new equipment is rugged and safe, parents said.
Also new are nine security cameras that tape the well-lighted playground 24 hours a day, seven days a week, Hill said.
Ed Morrin likes the new look, and he knows the area well. He’s lived across from the rec center for 58 years and started a basketball league there in 1961.
“I remember when it was all woods; I remember seeing pheasants,” Morrin said Friday.
Contractor William Arnold said replacing the equipment and the rest of the work took about four months.
City Councilman Brian O’Neill (R-10th dist.), whose capital funds paid for the improvements, said the old playground was on different levels. Now it’s on one, which makes it easier for parents to keep their eyes on their children.
“It now looks four to five times bigger than what was here before,” he said.
The councilman said residents came out to meetings to talk about what they wanted in the playground.
“The people who used the playground pretty much designed it,” he said.
O’Neill said the recreation equipment industry has grown and modernized in the past several years. There are new concepts, he said, and the emphasis on safety is impressive.
The ground cushioning, for example, is 4 inches thick, Arnold said.
More work will be done at Chalfont, the councilman said, adding that the next phase involves improvements to basketball courts.
The Deerpath Lane playground is one of several that have been improved in O’Neill’s district, he said, and they become big draws.
“They’re mobbed all the time,” he said. ••