When plans for a new playground in Centennial Park came back to the city, 10-year-old Berkley Sturgell gave them a second look. She saw a double swing, double balance beam and playsets — but no slide.
Sturgell, a Pacific Ridge Elementary student, noticed that plans presented to the Gearhart City Council last month did not have a slide, City Administrator Chad Sweet said. “She thought that might be a good addition to it.”
Staff member Krysti Ficker did some digging and found an option for the slide, adding about $16,000 to the budget.
With the slide, the project would cost about $59,000 to $60,000, not including the border around the wood chips, land grading, and land prep, Sweet said, at a cost of about $10,000.
Sturgell’s efforts started in January, when she wrote a letter to the City Council, imploring them to get new play equipment for local children.
Mayor Paulina Cockrum picked up on the idea, proposing Centennial Park near Trail’s End Art Association as the location, funded by a mix of donations and city dollars.
Sturgell’s Quarter Mile Challenge aimed to collect enough quarters to stretch the length of one-quarter mile — by Berkley’s estimate, $4,290. She exceeded that, raising almost $12,300.
City residents donated an additional $33,600, and the city has more than $100,000 available between parks equipment and parks maintenance and repair funds.
“Nothing is set in stone at this point, but we wanted to give you the best estimates of the direction you’re heading,” Sweet said.
The project now heads to the Planning Commission, which will need to grant a conditional use permit to the playground. “Planning and the public must support the placement of this playground in Centennial Park in order to move forward,” Sweet said.
With approval, construction takes about 14 weeks, Sweet said, and the playground could debut this summer.