Playground Build Moves Forward In OC

OCEAN CITY – The construction of a new playground at Little Salisbury Park will advance following the approval of a bid award this week.

On Monday, the Ocean City Council voted 6-0, with Council Secretary Tony DeLuca absent, to approve the award of the Little Salisbury Playground project to Gametime, through the OMNIA Partners contract, at a total cost of $215,574. Recreation and Parks Director Susan Petito said she was seeking the council’s approval to move forward with the award before pricing increased.

“Approval today will not only save us a lot of time but most importantly it will save us about 30% of the overall pricing costs,” she said. “The price increases tomorrow, which is why I tried to get it on tonight’s agenda.”

Petito told the council Monday her department had $216,000 budgeted to replace the aging playground in Little Salisbury Park, located at 94th Street. She said the proposed playground would include a new swing set and other inclusive play elements.

“It will include a swing set as well as an expression swing, which is a feature I’ve been wanting to put in our playgrounds for a really long time,” she said. “It’s a swing where a parent and child could sit opposite one another and swing together and look at each other’s faces.”

In her memo to the council, officials noted Petito had recently attended a National Recreation & Parks Convention, during which she was given the opportunity to purchase a Gametime play structure at a reduced price of $114,398. She told officials this week an additional $100,000 was added to the project cost for related work such as delivery, installation and surfacing.

Petito ultimately asked the council to approve the award of the Little Salisbury Playground to Gametime, combined with the OMNIA Partners purchasing contract, at a total cost of $215,574.  Councilman John Gehrig added that the town’s parks and recreation committee had forwarded a favorable recommendation to the Mayor and Council.

“The Little Salisbury Playground is over 20 years old and is scheduled for replacement this fiscal year,” Petito said. “It is actually in our budget to replace for $216,000. We have an opportunity to get what I call some really good bang for our buck with the approval of awarding the project tonight to Game Time through the OMNIA Partners contract at a price that’s within budget, at $215,574.90.”

After further discussion, the council voted to approve the bid award. Petito said the new play structure would be relocated to the west of the existing playground.

“It’s got a big visual impact,” she said. “It’s a tall structure, it has a lot of play value, and as a modular structure it can be tweaked to fit our challenging footprint, which we’re actually pushing the footprint of the playground a little bit to the west to avoid the occasional painting of the water tower there on that particular site.”

About The Author: Bethany Hooper

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Bethany Hooper has been with The Dispatch since 2016. She currently covers various general stories. Hooper graduated from Stephen Decatur High School in 2012 and the University of Maryland in 2016, where she completed double majors in journalism and economics.