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Designer Chosen for 'Valplayso: The Next Generation'

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The Valparaiso Parks Foundation has chosen Leathers & Associates to design and organize a community build process to rebuild Valplayso. They're the original designers and contractors who led the 1994 build of the playground, which involved over 26-hundred community volunteers. For the modern-day revamp, recycled materials will be used instead of wood. The company will also host a Design Day in January, where architects will meet with more than six-hundred Valparaiso elementary students to discuss their ideas about what a next generation playground should look like.
Photo: The Valplayso playground is pictured here as it currently stands. Leathers & Associates has been selected to rebuild and revitalize the 20 year old wooden structure through a community build effort, just as they did for the original Valplayso in 1994, with a tentative completion in the fall of 2014. [Photo courtesy/Valparaiso Parks Department]
More info:
[News Release] The Valpo Parks Foundation has selected Leathers & Associates to design and organize a community build process to revitalize and rebuild the Valplayso playground.  Leathers & Associates are the original designers and contractors that led the 1994 build of Valplayso in 1994 that involved over 2,600 community volunteers.  Leathers & Associates has more than 40 years of experience creating custom designed playgrounds.  Their work can be found in all 50 states and 7 foreign countries.  They have home offices located in Ithaca, NY and Jupiter, FL.
While their design and organizational process remains similar to the model 20 years ago, the materials and designs have evolved over time.  All recycled plastic structural and composite materials will be used for the Next Generation playground rather than wood.  The current designs offer a higher level of visibility and accessibility.  With the desire to have a level of all-inclusiveness and insure that there are good sight lines throughout, the new playground will be built considering ASTM, CPSC and ADA recommendations and requirements.
Parks Foundation Vice-President and Selection Task Force member Jeff Lewis stated, “While we had many great proposals and exciting playgrounds presented, Leathers & Associates excelled at the community build and fundraising process on a large scale and had the best approach and experience at translating kids and community input into building a unique and custom playground complex.”
The immediate next steps of Valpayso: The Next Generation are:
1. November 7 – Valpayso: The Next Generation is one of several options to which individuals and companies can gift on GIVE Day for Kids, organized by the Porter County Community Foundation.  www.PorterCountyGiveDay.org
2. November 30 – Volunteer Leadership team will be selected and approved
3. December 1 – Leathers & Associates will start working with Valplayso Park site planners The Troyer Group not only to start designing a playground, but also continue developing plans for a new shelter, restroom, parking lot, landscaping and site drainage.
4. January 2013 – Design Day will be finalized in January, where Leathers & Associates architects will meet with 600 plus Valparaiso elementary students to discuss their ideas about what a next generation playground should look like.
Follow Valplayso: The Next Generation updates on the web at www.ValpoParksFoundation.org, Facebook, Twitter, the Department website at www.ValpoParks.org and through news media.  For more information, contact Parks Director John Seibert or Administrative Assistant Barbie Johnson at the Valpo Parks Department.


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