MEDFORD, Ore. — Demolition crews are tearing down the Bear Creek Playground, in preparation for its replacement.
The construction for the new playground is expected to start Sept. 28, and a grand opening is scheduled for mid-to-late October.
The current playground was installed in 1988.
"It's been loved to death," Greg Jones said. Jones was the Medford Parks and Recreation Director when the original playground was installed. Now, he's volunteering to raise money and gather volunteers to help with the construction.
The new playground will add 5,000 square feet, bringing the total footage to 14,500.
The designers asked local students from Roosevelt and Hoover Elementary Schools for input, like they did back in the 1980's. Jones said today's students wanted similar features as the students from 30 years ago, with a few exceptions: a trampoline and zip lines.
Today's demolition was a bittersweet moment for many.
Traudel Leftrick has lived in Medford since 1974. She says she used to bring her grandchildren here, but that she's excited for the new playground.
"The best memory is when I could bring my grandchildren here," Leftrick said. "They had fun. They just loved the swings and loved everything about it."
The city needs volunteers to help with the construction process. They also are requesting people volunteer power tools. The city says it expects the construction process to take about a week.
To sign up to volunteer, click here.
Donors raised more than $400,000 so far, which the city said was enough to start the project. It needs about $150,000 to finish the rubber playground surface.
The new playground will be named the Olsrud Family Playground, in honor of the Olsrud family who was instrumental in craeating the first playground, according to the city.
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