Courtesy M.E. O’Brien & Sons

(Photo: Courtesy M.E. O’Brien & Sons)

The City of Newport announced via press release on Wednesday that children in Newport’s Morton Park neighborhood will soon have a new place to play, as the City’s Department of Public Services breaks ground on a state-of-the-art and ADA-accessible playground.

According to Scott Wheeler, Newport’s Building and Grounds Supervisor, crews from the City were due to begin disassembling the existing playground, with the exception of the merry-go-round and swing set, on Tuesday, Sept. 26. Weather permitting, installation of the new playground is expected to be completed sometime this fall.

The new NetPlex Play Structure, featuring a climbing tower, slide, and several overhead climbing and gliding components, will complement the existing merry-go-round and swing set, which will remain.

In preparation of the new playground, the City also recently installed a new sidewalk leading to the site where the existing sand will be replaced with structural wood fiber to make the facility ADA accessible.

The old playground, which was installed in 1991, had been the City’s oldest. It was originally purchased through a combination of City funds, local donations, and a Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management grant.

However, time had taken its toll.

According to Wheeler, the main structure had shown signs of significant wear and could no longer be repaired due to metal corrosion and the deterioration of plastic components like slides. In recent years, some portions of the play structure that could not be repaired had to be removed over safety concerns following inspections.

Families should be able to enjoy the new playground later this fall.