Collegedale's Imagination Station could be Torn Down

Reported by: Amy Katcher
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Updated: 7/29/2014 6:43 pm
(WDEF)  A two-decades old family hotspot in Collegedale could soon be on the chopping block.  The City Council voted recently to demolish all or part of the Imagination Station and replace it with a new metal and plastic playground.
        Rodney Keeton serves as Collegedale's Public Works Director.  He said, "We wanted to go more modern.  Update.  Get more A.D.A. compliant."
        But the plan has parents sounding off.
        Amanda Smith visited Imagination Station on Tuesday.  She said,  "This is my first time being here.  I heard that it was being replaced and wanted to come check it out.  It seems really unique and there's a lot of interactive things you don't see at most playgrounds."
        Cynthia Jamescatalano wants to see the Imagination Station stay.  She said, "There is no other place like it.  All around us we're surrounded by plastic and metal playgrounds."
        But City Officials say it all boils down to safety.
        Keeton added, "They can't see their kids in here when they're sitting out here so they're having to follow them around, and the sand.  Sand in the shoes, sand in the hair, sand in their eyes."
        Plus it's an older playground in need of repairs.  Keeton explained, "It needs a lot of maintenance.  It's starting to really go downhill and to really do something to fix this one, you have to take everything apart to get to the part you need, and by then you might as well just put all brand new stuff on it."
        Some parents say the plastic used on newer playgrounds gets too hot in the sun.
        Keeton continued, "We've built two of these small playgrounds a year ago.  One of them is at Nature Nook, it's well used.  I've had no complaints over there about any of the heat."
        And ultimately the city does have to make it more complaint with the 1990 Americans with Disabilities Act.
        Jamescatalano said, "I have no problem with making it more handicap accessible.  I think that would be wonderful.  I don't think you have to destroy the entire playground to do it."
        Jamescatalano will speak at Monday night's commission meeting.
        She plans to ask they keep the Imagination Station as is, and build a newer playground somewhere else.
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