Monkey Around Playground at White Park

The playground at White Park was built in 1994 and it’s time to update or replace the playground.

Monkey Around was a community built playground made possible by private donations and man power. Hundreds of people worked on the project. The playground was designed by Playground by Leathers; a national playground company that specializes in community built playgrounds. At the time of installation the playground was expected to last 20 years with proper maintenance – we are now in year 26!!

Over the years the Friends of White Park have assisted the Parks and Recreation Department with buying the stain to treat the pressure treated wood and assisted with applying the stain. The department takes care of the regular maintenance needs of the playground (repairing decks, swings, equipment and playground surfacing).

In May, 2015 the Parks and Recreation Department hired Playground By Leathers to come back to Concord to conduct an assessment of the playground. The department also asked for a cost estimate to update the current structure. The cost at that time was $145,000 (approx. $200,000 in 2018 dollars). Read their full report (PDF) here.

During the FY18 budget process City Council approved a project to update the Monkey Around Playground. The budget was $200,000 with $100,000 coming from private donations. In 2018 the FWP and the city held a couple meetings to look at options for repairs. Several areas of concern  where brought up. If we need to spend up to $200,000 on repairs of the current playground what are the options to help make the playground more accessible to everyone, how to address sight lines in the playground (some parents love the hiding places and some do not) and possible fence around. Understanding if the community would like these items addressed we need bring in a playground company to help with design options.

The Friends of White Park have agreed to work with the department to help advertise the community meetings/conversations scheduled for winter 2019/2020. They have also agreed to raise the matching funds needed for the new playground. Our plan is to have an approved playground concept ready for City Councils review in spring 2020. This will allow fundraising to take place during the winter of 2020/21 with construction projected for summer 2021.

1994 vs. 2019 Playgrounds – new options and choices!!!

There are many new and exciting amenities for playgrounds that were not around in 1994. As we review all the new playground options, including the possibility of adding rubber surfacing, the projected cost of the project will need to be reviewed. Playground By Leathers have been chosen to work with the community again and help design the new playground. Please visit their web site to see what is possible!

For more information please David Gill the Parks and Recreation Director at dgill@concordnh.gov

Timeline for Updating the Monkey Around Playground 

Winter 2019/2020 

* Evening Community Meeting on Dec 12 at 6 pm at the new City Wide Community Center for residents youth and adults to for input on the new playground. During the morning volunteers from the Friends of White Park, Playground by Leathers and Parks and Recreation Department will visit two elementary schools for design activities with the students,

* Recreation and Parks Advisory Committee Review and public meeting was held on Thursday, Feb 20 at 6 pm at the City Wide Community Center. Please see picture below of the recommended new design for the playground. 

Recommended new WP playground design Feb 2020

February to December 2020

* Develop cost estimates for the playground.

* Additional public meeting (if needed) to review concept and cost estimates.

* Recreation and Parks Advisory Committee Approval.

* City Council review and approval of recommended playground concept.

Spring 2021

* Final design was approved by City Council the Friends of White Park will begin fundraising for new playground.

Summer 2021 to Fall 2023

*Friends of White Park continue to raise donations to help off set the cost of the project. Their goal is to raise at least $50,000.

*The City of Concord applied for LWCF Grant in spring 2022 to help with the replacement costs. This grant requires a one to one match. As an example if the City of Concord is awarded a $400,000 LWCF grant we will be required to match with another $400,000. The City will find out if grant was awarded over the winter 2023/24.

The 2022/23 estimated cost to build the new playground per approved design:
* Final design and construction documents: $30,000
* Material costs: $410,000
* Poured in place surfacing: $150,000 
* Site prep and demo: $100,000
* Construction Manager at 5%: $35,000
* Contingency: $75,000 (9%)
Total Projected cost is $800,000 

Winter 2023/24

* Assuming all funding is in place with City Council accepting all donations, grant and issuing GO Bonds for the project a vendor will be selected for final design and permitting and then selected a playground vendor for the install. We hope to be ready for construction with the goal of project start of fall 2024.