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Downey Kiwanis Foundation Playground Project Takes Shape at Furman Park

By Tammye McDuff

Furman Park was established in 1955 as part of the Downey Recreation and Park Special District. It serves over 300,000 visitors per year through summer concerts. Camps. Picnic shelters, baseball, basketball, tennis courts, walking trails, two playgrounds and a multipurpose room. The two playground areas were last updated in 1990, since this time due to wear and tear or vandalism, many original pieces of playground equipment has been removed.

The Downey Kiwanis Foundation has been approached to adopt-a-park that would benefit the community as well as meet the objectives of the service organization. The Parks and Recreation Department submitted a proposal to replace the Furman Pak playground equipment to the Kiwanis Foundation for consideration of approval. March 2014 the City was notified that the organization had reviewed and approved the proposal to replace the playground equipment. They have selected PlayPower Little Tykes for the installation. The playground design includes a space theme paying homage to Downey’s history. The proposed plan features structures that include a cover play area, slides, swing set, and climber with the Kiwanis logo placed within the playground design.

The City of Downey is a member of the National Joint Powers Alliance [NJPA], allowing the city to access competitively bid nation contracts. The City is able to utilize the existing NJPA contract with PlayPower for its Little Tike’s Commercial brand of playgrounds and equipment.

Proposed Project timeline upon approval of the Reimbursement Agreement and Award of Contract by council, will be to order equipment June 2014 with a playground dedication; reopening and pre-summer concert ceremony July 2014.

The cost of the Furman Park project is an estimated $255,238.79 of which Kiwanis will provide $80,000 upon Reimbursement Agreement approval. An additional $173,239 is required from the General fund Reserve to cover the remaining project cost.  The General Fund Reserve will be reimbursed $75,000 July 2015 and $75,000 in July 2016 for a total of $230,000 toward the project cost.

The Downey Kiwanis Foundation was formed in late 1985 to provide a vehicle by which Kiwanians as well as friends and other members of the community could contribute to a managed perpetual fund in support of specific emphasis on benefitting the youth of our community.

PlayPower, Inc. is the world’s largest, fully integrated manufacturer of commercial playground equipment, floating dock systems and lifts for boats and personal watercraft. The company is headquartered in Huntersville, NC.