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  • A rendering of what the Benson Park playground will look like after it is installed in Hudson this September. The Miracle playground is priced at nearly $90,000 but comes at no cost to the town's taxpayers. Courtesy photo.
  • A rendering of what the Benson Park playground will look like after it is installed in Hudson this September. The Miracle playground is priced at nearly $90,000 but comes at no cost to the town's taxpayers. Courtesy photo.
Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Playground will serve all

HUDSON – A new playground is coming to Benson Park this fall, and at no cost to the taxpayers.

After taking several bids for the project, town officials have decided on a provider – Miracle Recreation Equipment – and the playground should be built and available for use in September.

“This has been really part of the plan for Benson Park right from the get-go,” said selectmen’s Chairman Shawn Jasper. “It’s part of the natural progression.”

The cost is $87,024, but all money comes from the Planning Board’s recreation funds and donations. The taxpayers are not affected by the purchase, according to Jasper.

Jasper said the playground will be built into the slope of the park, below the 9/11 Memorial and along Benson Boulevard.

The ground space is nearly 8,000 square feet, with many decks, swings and slides throughout.

The playground has an animal and nature theme, specifically ordered to honor the former Benson’s Wild Animal Farm, which was once a popular site on the park’s land.

There will be two designated play areas for different age groups. One will be for toddlers, ages 2-5, and another for older children, where all the larger swings and slides will sit.

Recreation director David Yates said the highest point of the playground will be atop a small hill so handicapped children in wheelchairs will be able to crest the playground summit.

That’s something they are usually unable to do, even at handicapped-accessible playgrounds.

“It’s for everyone; it’s really unique in that it has that ability,” Jasper said.

“It’ll be a positive experience for those kids, when they can’t always have that on the playground,” Yates said.

There is not a great number or abnormally high percentage of handicapped children in Hudson, he said, but the town felt it was “something that was needed.” The Recreation Commission made the “universally accessible” structure a priority, Yates said.

The Hudson Highway Department will do most of the excavation and construction work needed to level the land and prepare it for a playground.

Yates said the Hudson community also will be able to help later in the construction process with smaller things, like spreading mulch or hanging swings.

Yates said the town is hoping to build the playground in the middle of September, once the weather has cooled and all of the parts have been received. It should take about three or four days to complete, he said.

“It’s a great thing for the park,” said Harry Schibanoff, chairman of the Benson Park Committee.

“What’s a park without a playground? That’s the bottom line. It’s a big place, and the playground fits in there very well.”

Cameron Kittle can be reached at 594-6523 or ckittle@nashuatelegraph.com.