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Lacombe council approves Lincoln Park, Heritage Park playground replacements

City issued a Request for Proposal (RFP) on March 16, 2020
(Photo by The City of Lacombe)

Based on a recommendation from the Lacombe and District Recreation, Parks, and Culture Board, Council yesterday awarded the contract to replace the playgrounds at Lincoln Park and Heritage Park to Vilmac Systems in the amount of $274,445.13 plus GST.

“The playground renewal program helps us maintain the City’s service level in outdoor facilities and amenities,” said Councillor Jonathan Jacobson, the City’s representative on the Lacombe and District Recreation, Parks, and Culture Board. “As existing equipment ages, the playground’s appeal to children diminishes, warranties expire, and deteriorating wood and plastic components eventually become unsafe and must be replaced.”

The City issued a Request for Proposal (RFP) on March 16, 2020, seeking playground supply and installation services at Lincoln Park and Heritage Park, including new groundcover and demolition of the old equipment. The RFP closed on May 1, 2020.

“City staff assessed the 10 proposals received against mandatory requirements, which disqualified five proposals,” said Director of Community Services Deborah Juch. “We then evaluated the remaining five against the discretionary criteria, which included innovation, design, layout, maintenance, warranty, budget, and schedule.”

Vilmac System’s proposal met the mandatory requirements and also ranked highest in the discretionary criteria. In addition to the standard elements, the Vilmac playground designs include a parkour component for Heritage Park and a spinner in Lincoln Park, both of which will be firsts for Lacombe. As well, a return to washed sand as groundcover adds a play element to its other purposes.

Staff presented Vilmac’s four design options, an Option 1 and an Option 2 for each park to the Lacombe and District Recreation, Parks, and Culture Board for review and selection. The Board unanimously recommended the Lincoln Park Playground Option 1 and Heritage Park Playground Option 1 to Council (see Background Information below). It also supported the inclusion of adult fitness equipment next to each playground, which will provide caregivers with the opportunity to exercise while still actively supervising their children.

The City prepares for playground lifecycle replacement by budgeting $300,000 every other year to replace two of the oldest playgrounds in the community. Proposed playground designs and replacement

equipment should be innovative and unique if possible, while fostering the development of children’s motor, sensory, and social skills.