City workers were putting the finishing touches on CAMDEN playground in Janesville Thursday, with the hope to reopen it by late October.
The CAMDEN Foundation had originally asked for volunteers to help rebuild the playground during two phases in late August and mid-September. The plan was to finish rebuilding CAMDEN by Sept. 11., but there weren’t enough volunteers, so the city now has to finish the work.
“I would have loved to have it done and completed for the kids by the end of September, but we weren’t able to,” CAMDEN Foundation co-founder and president Sherry Kuelz said.
Janesville Parks Director Cullen Slapak said at least one city worker has been at the park each day finishing up the work.
“We have some individual play pieces that need to be put in yet,” he said. “We have to put the rubber surfacing down, just some odds and ends from the actual build that we need to take care of.”
A picket fence will also be put up around the playground. Slapak said the pickets should be put in soon.
For Sara Knutson, the playground has a special meaning. It was built for her son, Camden. She said even though Camden is getting older, she’s still looking forward to bringing him to the park when it reopens.
“The swings are his favorite part, and watching the children play while he’s swinging,” Knutson said. “He loves it. He loves children.”
The original playground was built in 1993, and at the time it was completed, it was the world’s largest and most accessible playground. It was torn down after being well-loved for many years and needing some major repairs.
Kuelz said the new playground will have more features, including a rock climbing wall, wheelchair-accessible swing and a wheelchair-accessible merry-go-round.
The city said it will need some volunteers to help put up the picket fence and install the rubber matting. Anyone interested can call the parks department at 608-755-3025 for more information.