uFixIt: Playground condition causes concerns

September 30, 2010 12:10:41 PM PDT
There is a playground in desperate need of repair in Santa Clara. The swings and monkey bars are rusting away, so we asked ? would you let your kids play on a rusty playground?

The playground at fairway Glen Park in Santa Clara is popular with neighborhood kids and students from the nearby elementary school.

"The kids really love it, in fact they call it 'The Birdcage,''" Santa Clara resident Ronnie Balderrama said.

Balderama says the bars are covered in rust.

"This is our 30-year-old playground that you can see is all rusted," she said.

Balderama took video with her cell phone and e-mailed it to uReport.

"The kids play with the peeling rust," Balderrama said. "It's all over, from the top to the bottom. Anything that you see that's orange, it's not orange paint. It's already rusting."

She says it's gotten so bad that she doesn't want to bring her two grandchildren here to play anymore. so she asked us to help her get it fixed.

"It's been here for a long time, and I think it's about time we do get it fixed up for the kids," Balderrama said.

Santa Clara County Parks and Recreation head Jim Teixeira took a look at the playground after we called. One problem that he says needs fixing immediately is the sand.

"The sand under the equipment, there are some exposed edges and things and some compaction of the sand, and those are some things that we want to mitigate," he said.

He says he's going to send a maintenance crew out to till the sand in the next week and he will make sure the rust gets taken care of before the rainy season starts in November.

"Brushing that down, removing ah the rust, treating the metal and then putting a layer of paint over that," Teixeira said.

Balderama says it's about time that the playground got the same level of care and attention as the park lawns.

"The grounds is fine, the grass is mowed it's been watered, except for the play structure, where you figure that would be most important, because it's for the kids," she said.

The city wants to eventually replace that entire playground and build a restroom at the park. They're now looking for grant funding to help pay the $700,000 price tag.

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