In early 2016, the Selwyn District Council started working on a concept for the area’s first destination playground. It would be installed at Foster Park in Rolleston, the fast-growing township located to the South of Christchurch.
Council Project Manager and Landscape Architect, Phil Millar, says the Council wanted to design a playground that would be a major attraction to the children and families of the whole district.
“We consulted with local school children and they gave us a good steer regarding what sort of play equipment they wanted to see in the playground,” he says. “We also wanted to introduce some elements of height into the playground design – because Rolleston is generally very flat in topography.”
When it came to selecting surfacing for the design, Phil says it was a matter of finding products that could deliver the playgrounds intricate design, whilst simultaneously satisfying the criteria of being long-lasting and easy to maintain. Another key requirement of the design was that the surface aid in ensuring accessibility to all.
Phil had seen Numat’s Pour’n’Play and PermaTurf products used in other council projects and knew they were a good fit. He was particularly impressed by the company’s ability to transition from Wet Pour Rubber to Turf, whilst maintaining a Critical Fall Height across the entire surface.
“We had seen Numat’s products at other playgrounds and were impressed with the quality and appearance of the rubber softfall and artificial turf,” he says.
Numat playground surfacing specialist, Jake Hoyle, worked with Phil in the early stages of the project providing advice on design adjustments. These adjustments meant the installation process would be carried out with optimal efficiency, minimal waste, and would deliver the high contrast look Phil was going for.
“The advice given by Jake Hoyle during the design phase was very good. Also, the advice prior to construction to tweak a couple of the colours that we had specified was also excellent,” he says.
During the construction phase of the project, Numat worked with council contractor, McLenaghan Contracting, to deliver the complex design. “The quality of work produced was very good, and the final look of the product in the ground was excellent. Numat staff onsite were flexible and wanted to get the job done,” says Phil.
By and large, the construction of the playground went according to plan. However, there were a few challenges along the way that kept the surfacing and construction teams on their toes. One of them was a change to the design which called for a second way up to the top of the fort instead of one.
As Phil recounts, “We came up with a ladder solution, to add to the climbing chimney we already had. This meant that we needed to alter the softfall design beneath the Fort. McLenaghan and Numat were very flexible in making this change happen and implementing it to a high standard.”
Foster Park playground opened to crowds of gleeful children on the 21st of December, 2 weeks ahead of the advised opening date given by Council to the community.
When asked how the finished playground matches up to the original design, Phil replies, “Very well. The Council are very pleased with how the whole project has come together.”