Shaping the Future of Play
Playground equipment, Indoor, and Outdoor
Every child needs a place to play. In today’s world of video games and the Internet, many people are suggesting that kids
are not getting the exercise their bodies require. Furthermore, play time is just as important for a child’s mental and social development as is physical exercise, making the playground more important than ever.
Sports & Recreation Associates is a leading source of information on playground equipment for both indoor and outdoor use. We believe that play time is an essential aspect of being a child and that it is imperative for their physical and mental growth and development. Our website has been designed to be used as an informational resource for parents, teachers and anyone else that wants to find out more about today’s playground equipment. The information we provide is meant to be unbiased towards any one product or company.
If you run a school or day-care center, commercial playground equipment is highly recommended. Child-centered businesses are required to provide outdoor playground equipment that is built to be not only solid and secure, but as safe as possible as well. In addition, most of the insurance policies that cover these businesses require that basic safety concerns are covered before any playground equipment can be installed. Most schools today even incorporated padded surfaces beneath this equipment to minimize the possibility of injury during a fall or other mishap. To view Miracle's 2014 catalog - Click Here.
Please call us toll free at 724-478-1775 in Apollo, Pennsylvania for a no-cost consultation on your next project, or to determine if your project might fast track through COSTARS.
Stage 1 - Planning:
Be proactive and carefully consider your specific site needs, goals, and vision for your project. Consider the following items as you begin planning your playground in order to be better prepared to discuss options with the vendor.
• Determine how surfacing will be used.
• Determine what age group will use the play area.
• Determine the compatibility with the area topography and weather.
• Determine if an architect will be involved.
• Solicit community input.
• Determine site requirements.
• Determine who will install equipment surfacing.
• Define budget and obtain necessary funding.
• Explore existing state procurement contracts or waste management grants.
• Consider maintenance and longevity and create a master plan.
• Review products available (loose-fill and unitary) and determine which options will be used.
• Collect and determine scope.
• Determine how play value will be strategically incorporated.
• Determine special features, graphics, or design considerations.
• Choose colors.
• Know fall height of equipment.
• Research and determine durability, drainage, and accessibility.
• Determine if product will be installed on a hard surface such as concrete, asphalt, or compacted sub-base aggregate. Some surfacing requires this type of sub-base. Surfacing such as Engineered Wood Fiber requires other sub-base preparation.
• Create an overall site plan and determine accessible route of travel.
• Determine what playground equipment will be used.
Stage 2 - Purchasing:
Once you have determined your budget, goals of project, and overall scope, it is important to take the following steps prior to purchasing your surfacing investment.
• Draft a published bid document/specification to meet your needs.
• Organize the decision and selection process.
• Discuss other hidden details or other needed site work – outside the scope of work.
• Obtain required licenses, permits, insurance, fees/wages.
• Secure credit and funding approval.
• Collect vendor/installer warranty requirements, test data identifying the critical height rating of the desired
surfacing, and credibility/certification.
• Make sure the product and installation is IPEMA/ASTM compliant and will meet ADA guidelines
• Insure material selected meets or exceeds the fall height of the equipment.
• Prepare the site.
Stage 3 - Protecting:
It is essential that you protect the playground users and your surfacing investment. This requires careful and ongoing maintenance to ensure compliance and documentation of the work completed.
• Ensure that installation is being followed per manufacturer recommendations.
• Maintain good files and photographs on the entire project (start to finish).
• Ensure the completed project meets spec.
• Make sure you received what you paid for and sign-off.
• Discuss initial and continuous scheduled inspections.
• Establish a maintenance plan/program.
• Secure all paperwork and documentation.
• Obtain letter of compliance.
• Obtain a project-specific warranty.
• Conduct routine safety inspections and ADA compliance inspections.
This information above is an excerpt from Strong Foundations: Planning, Purchasing and Protecting Playground Surfacing Investments.
To view Miracle's current catalog - Click Here