Fredericksburg City Beat

This blog includes news about City Hall, city schools and other 22401 news.

Pamela Gould reports on City Hall. You can reach her at 540-735-1972 or Robyn Sidersky reports on city schools. You can reach her at 540-374-5413 or

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Coolin’ at the playground

In case you’ve wondered why this merry-go-round at Memorial Park playground (at Kenmore Avenue and Mary Ball Street) has been decked out with Halloween-orange netting for so long, a replacement is in the works, but not another merry-go-round.

This one broke a while back, and since it was installed, the Consumer Product Safety Commission’s playground standards have changed, identifying new risks associated with these rotating platforms. Parks and Recreation Director Bob Antozzi said the city always kept this one up to snuff while it was operating, ensuring that the distance between the ground and the platform didn’t get so great that a child could easily get trapped underneath, but when it broke, parks staff decided it would be best to replace it with another piece of equipment.

So, kids, you’re getting…a see-saw, or teeter-totter, as some say. It should be installed sometime in the near future, according to Antozzi. The roughly $2,000 expected cost of buying and installing this new piece of equipment will come from the parks department’s contingency budget.

As you might imagine, there’s not a whole lot of local tax money laying around these days for new playgrounds, so donations play a big part in getting these going. The Memorial Park playground was made possible in the first place by the Fredericksburg Area Service League. Now, efforts are under way to raise funds for a new playground at the corner of Cowan Boulevard and Powhatan Street, in an area that contractor W.C. Spratt has spruced up after using it as a staging area for its massive utilities project along the U.S. 1 corridor in recent years. I’ll have more in the paper soon about this effort.

In the meantime, for readers of my generation who are craving a nostalgia fix after reading the headline of this blog post, I’ll save you a Google search.

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  • Brian

    Thanks for the update on what my kids call The Tennis Park. Are there also plans to start maintaining the second play area at Old Mill Park – it has been blocked off for quite a while.

  • Meredith

    Thanks for the throw back jam, but this story makes me sad. Our children will not be able to enjoy the same thrills we did as kids.

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  • Rose Huffman

    So sad. My boys loved the merry go round and keep hoping it would be fixed or replaced. Wonder how long that thing has been around and if that long without harm why we can’t use the things we grew up on a little longer.

    The merry go round bonded all kids together – the see saw doesn’t have the same effect.


  • Jeff

    Wow $2000 for a lever and fulcrum. My question is, where’s the audit to find out why the taxpayers are being ripped off to the tune of $1500?

  • George

    I bet the extra $1500 is paying the insurance premiums of the manufacturer :)

    Seriously, though, municipal/school grade playground equipment is EXPENSIVE! I’ve been shocked by prices I’ve heard from others before, so it’s not just the city paying these prices.

  • nichole

    I know my children will be sad abou this.There are very few parks in the area that have the “different” play equipment. The merry go round seems to be more popular then the other things. Also they took away some of the stuff we also grew up on in Old Mill Park. It would seem to me it would be cheaper to fix up and refurbish the older stuff rather than buy all new. I am sadded to hear this.

  • Lisa

    So….can they sell the merry-go-round or auction it off? Bet someone would love to have it. Might help pay for the See-Saw. Such a shame kids today can’t have the fun old school equipment, but at least a See-Saw is better than another silly climber.

  • jj

    They way they coddle kids these days, I’m surprised that thing stuck around for as long as it did. Everybody loved it, sad to see it go.

  • ed newell

    swings are going away too… “its for the children!”