Lower Shawsheen Playground

Information about the upcoming Public Meeting on December 18th

Scope and Context

Please join us in selecting a new design for the playground at Lower Shawsheen Field. This is the second public meeting. It is on Tuesday December 18th, 2018 at 3:30pm at The Memorial Hall Library in the Children's Room. See Calendar Link

Information from the Public Meeting on November 15th

Scope and Context

the focus of the Lower Shawsheen Playground Project is to improve the accessibility of this playground. The Town has allocated $200K from the Capital Budget for this playground. The Town has a long-term view with plans to upgrade other playgrounds in Town. Click Here to view the Public Meeting Minutes

Parking 

Decision: There shall be NO access from the Balmoral Parking Lot which is a private parking lot reserved for the “Balmoral Condominium” Complex 

Action: New Park design shall factor in proper signage and aesthetic landscape barriers that would deter residents/guests from using this as an access point 

Action: Town (Director of Planning) confirmed that the Parking Lot off Balmoral Street next to the Soccer Shed belongs to the Town. With the existing stone columns and parking, this will need signage to denote as “Main Entrance” to the park along with signage to denote it as parking for the Park. 

Decision: The entrance off York Street shall also remain as park users who park on York Street use the 2 entrances. The one closer to the playground will be made ADA accessible with an accessible gate 

Decision: There will be an accessible path from the Parking Lot by Shed connecting to the new ADA pathway heading to the playground.

Site Infrastructure 

Decision: Town will be responsible for fixing the sidewalk infrastructure by the York Street Park Entrance that will be made accessible. 

Decision: The track around the soccer field is not part of this project. 

Decision: The fence repairs around the Balmoral Condominium complex are not part of this project scope. 

Decision: The trees surrounding the park on York Street or any other trees that in decay or removed outside the limits of the playground will not be addressed during this phase 

Action: There was a request to buffer the portable toilet better but this will not be addressed during this phase but a recommendation can be made. 

Decision: The existing stone dust surfacing is not considered ADA accessible in all weather and the new pathway shall be asphalt. 

Decision: There will be no lighting at the playground. Facilities Director mentioned that from their studies at Andover Parks, they felt lighting encouraged vandalism. 

Decision: There will be a trash bin provided 

Action: The new playground boundaries and surfacing material will need to be approved by the Zoning commission as this is under the Flood Plain and Wetland Protection Act.

Playground Ideas 

Group agreed that it is good to have each park have its own identity whether thematic or play structure or choice of colors 

Residents feel that the track at the Ballardvale Playground seems littered with play toys that are left behind and want to avoid that. 

Swings are popular but they take lot of space. The idea of a basket swing that is also accessible and accommodates more users was well received but there will be in addition traditional swings as well (Quantity TBD based on space/budget) 

Residents mentioned that the picnic table is used by the soccer kids on the weekends and have noticed lot of trash. The picnic table surfacing collects sap and is not easy to maintain besides being in a location not easy to monitor 

Some residents like to see this with a nature river theme with nature colors but others like some of the modern equipment with bolder colors. 

Decision: A desire for a splash pad was mentioned since there is a water connection but it was agreed that a splash pad would be a better fit at one of the other larger Andover playgrounds and not here due to limited size and budget. 

Decision: New play structure should not offer hiding spaces to deter illegal activities 

Decision: New play structure will be primarily for the 5-12 age group but there will be other play elements such as swings, spinner or see-saw that can be used by the younger kids. 

Decision: The surfacing material shall be primarily Poured-In-Place (PIP) rubber surfacing (fully ADA compliant) as much as possible but certain parts of the playground may still use Engineered Wood Fiber mulch with PIP accessible path. 

Decision: A new picnic table will be provided that allows rain water to go through and will be located in a more visible spot in the playground 

Decision: There will be some hardcourt pavement play and 4 square was desired. No basketball hoops or teether-ball (has maintenance related issues)

Next Steps

Residents voted their preference on choice of Playground Equipment. See Photos Below. 

The Town will make this report available to the community. Town will solicit more feedback on the same from those who were not able to attend the meeting

Playground Options "A"

Playground Options A

Playground Options "B"

Playground Options B

Playground Options "C"

Playground Options C

Playground Options "D"

Playground Options D