Dillon Town Park vision revealed as work begins
Renderings of Dillon Town Park went before the Parks & Recreation committee Monday, revealing plans for a climbing wall, mountain-like climbing web, an “orbitron” and more.
The park has been a long time in the making. The town first polled elementary students in 2013 as part of its Town Park Master plan. Renovations began in 2019, just before COVID-19 forced a yearlong delay. Attempts to restart construction in June of 2021 were delayed when the town struggled to find a contractor, pushing work until this spring.
Now, the town has its contractor, a completed vision and work crews setting up the park’s foundation. Curbing is being put in place, along with a retaining wall. The park will range in offerings from play spaces for 2- to 5-year-olds to a 10-foot-tall climbing wall that people can traverse.
“We wanted more natural play,” Public Works Director Scott O’Brien said. “That’s what the community and students were really interested in.”
American Civil Constructors is in the process of building the retaining wall at the park. A second company, ID Sculpture of Gunnison, will then texture the wall, adding holds and a rock-like appearance, to create the climbing wall.
“It’s intended to be a traverse, rather than putting ropes on and going up,” O’Brien said.
Above the climbing wall will be the first of three sections of the park. Within it there will be a “timber cave” with cross netting between to rocks to climb, stepping stones and more natural benches. Across all sections of the park, climbable features like vines and logs will be scattered around.
The second of three play areas is designed for children ages 2-5. A standard playground, chalice-like spinning seats, a small swingset and rotating climbable net will be constructed.
Section three will have more advanced play equipment, like saucer swings and a 24-foot-high climbing pyramid made of webbed rope. There will also be an “orbitron,” which is a pole with a rotating ring on top of it that works similar to a merry go ’round, except kids hang from it.
“We wanted it to kind of look like the mountains here in Summit County,” he said of the pyramid.
O’Brien added all parts of the playground meet safety standards, even the climbing wall and rope pyramid.
A fourth section of the playground intended to focus on natural play was cut from designs. It would have included a sandbox, raised plank walkways, a jackstraw timber-type climbable log structure and mini maze.
Construction for the three-part playground has started up this spring.
“Right now they’re trying to get structural (work) done,” O’Brien said, adding that electricians were also on site. “They’re trying to get ahead of the general contractor … getting various kinds of conduit runs in.”
But a nationwide shortage of electrical components, he said, is likely to delay their work until the fall.
Light collars will illuminate the walking paths, similar to the Dillon Marina, O’Brien said.
Additional power systems will be installed for future Christmas lighting events and farmers markets. O’Brien said that work likely won’t be ready until the 2023 holiday season
“But next winter, we’ll have some kind of a holiday promenade that people can walk through,” he said.
Estimations for the cost of the project put it at $1.2 million, but the town only budgeted $750,000 in 2019. O’Brien said the town received a roughly $457,000 Great Outdoors Colorado award to help fund the project.
In the future, when the town has more money to put into the park, O’Brien said a pavilion could be installed.
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