Kids World Set to Reopen Next Week

Contractors install one of the new disability compliant gates at Kids World, set to reopen January 22, if all goes well.
Tyler Hayden

[Update: Jan. 22, 10 a.m.] The final permit approval has held up the re-opening of Kids World to Tuesday morning, George Thomson with Parks & Rec said this morning. The inspection takes place this afternoon, whereupon the construction fence disassembly should start if the refurbished play structure passes muster. The official opening will be Thursday at 11 a.m.

[Original Story] When Kids World first closed in September, parents and kids could be seen at the fences, seated at a bench having a snack or walking away while they deliberated where to go instead. They can come back next week, the city’s George Thomson said, as the kid-designed play structure should be back in business on Monday, as long as it passes its final inspections this weekend, he temporized.

The project, originally set to open in mid-December, was delayed for many reasons, but chiefly because necessary bits of hardware — like the specialized gate hinges for disabled people — were held up. Also, air quality issues and the highway closures from December’s fire and January’s flood interrupted the work for contractors and their employees in Carpinteria, Ventura, and Oxnard, as well.

“There’s a long list of things that have changed” Thomson said of the playground renovation, “but we wanted it to look like nothing has changed.” Thousands of structural screws were placed that should enable Kids World, first built in 1993, to last another 20 years. Improvements that watchful parents will appreciate are better circulation and lines of sight. Also, said Thomson, additional pier pilings support the uprights, the decking is all new, chains have been replaced, and new rubber matting has been placed below slide exits and beneath the new swing set.

“We took one of the figs that falls there and smashed it to match the color of the mats,” Thomson said with a laugh that sounded almost guilty. He’s well aware of the long wait for Kids World to reopen. “I have two kids,” he said, “and I do hear about it.” The official opening, complete with a ribbon-cutting, takes place Thursday, January 25. Thomson, a capital projects supervisor with City Parks, said the time capsule buried during the original 1993 ribbon cutting will be opened. A video made at the time will also be on display.


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