Miami Springs city leaders voted 5-0 at the Dec. 14 council meeting to abruptly shut down the popular children’s playground at Prince Field due to safety concerns.
“If you know it’s not safe, then you gotta shut it down,” City Attorney Jan Seiden said. “You have to yellow tape it.”
The current playground, built by residents and volunteers about 20 years ago, is not ADA compliant. It is also unclear whether the tot lot with slides and swings was up to code.
“It’s beginning to fall apart and it’s very dangerous,” said Recreation Director Omar Luna, who provided council members with a memorandum showing three potential upgrade options.
The cost of each option:
▪ $245,000 for option one includes a “generic metal framed playground very similar to Stafford Park.
▪ $395,000 for option two includes “play structures made out of composite wood to match the existing playground and theme.”
▪ $383,000 for option three includes “play structures made of wood.”
The city has about $180,000 budgeted for the playground, according to City Manager Ron Gorland. The playground was upgraded a few years ago at a cost of about $25,000.
Though it remains unclear where the additional funds — up to $201,000 extra dollars — will come from, City Councilwoman Rosie Buckner asked the city to pursue park improvement grants
“Money is going to drive what we decide to do,” said Mayor Zavier Garcia, who described how his son’s foot recently “went through some of the material there.”
“The safety of this park for our children is a priority.”
The city council did not present a new construction timeline or specify how long the playground will remain closed.