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New playground equipment selected for Lions Den Park

By Dawn Burleigh

After taking time to decide which playground layout to approve, the Orange City Council selected the design by MAY recreation.

It was the design the council described as the big WOW factor in a previous meeting.

“I have had several constituents they like the MAY recreation,” Council member Paul Burch said.

Other council members agreed they had received the same feedback.

The vendor was given a budget of $450,000 for the playground and the design had to be ADA inclusive. Cost did not include the ADA sidewalk.

May Recreation Equipment & Design, L.P. is a greater Houston area commercial-grade park and playground equipment company whose primary purpose is to provide its clients with recreational design concepts emphasizing safety and fun while utilizing competitively priced products manufactured by companies who share our high standards of ethics, quality and reliability, according to its website.

Mayor Larry Spears Jr. has served on the council since 2014. When he first ran for a seat, his position was to find ways to bridge the gaps to improve the city for the children.

A playground at Lions Dens Park was behind locked gates in February this year and has since been torn down after the equipment was deemed unsafe by engineers. In September, the park was also part of the discussion for the budget were underway.

At the time, the council has requested $530,000 be set aside for the park in this budget and then have more funds set aside next year for the park.

Ways to improve the park have been mentioned during budget talks each year. One year, the concentration was on improving the pavilion used for birthdays and other family events.

Depending on one’s source, commercial playground equipment can range from 15-25 years if made of steel, 10 -15 years if it is made of wood.

Lions Den Park equipment was over 20 years old.

Council member Patrick Pullen suggested the council consider adding a 10 foot tall orange to the location.

“I like the layout selected,” Pullen said. “I think we should consider having something to add to the experience of the park that people can take away as a memory and say WOW Orange, Texas.”

Pullen added he is working with Chris Kovatch, who spearheaded the Orange Grove Project with the Greater Orange Area Chamber of Commerce, to get bids for such a project.

“This could be added at a later date,” Pullen said.