2013/2014 Dunes Park Playground Project

Capital Project Committee (from left to right): Kimbra Birchler, Sonja Brown, Steve Salmond, Deborah Salmond, Brittany White, Bryan White.
In November 2013, the Dunes Park playground project began. The project was jointly funded by the Dunes Master Owners Association, Inc. and the District. The park is owned, operated and maintained by the District.

The project is a result of the efforts of the Capital Project Committee--a group of homeowners who volunteered their time for many months developing the project plan and submitting it to the HOA and District boards for funding approval. The District and HOA boards reviewed and approved funding for the project in October 2013.

Frequently Asked Questions About the Project

1.   Who is on the Capital Project Committee?
The Capital Project Committee is comprised of the following Dunes Park residents:

Deborah Salmond
Steve Salmond
Bryan White
Brittany White
Sonja Brown

Former Committee Members: Kimbra Birchler (Nov. 2012 to April 2014)

2. Why was the park moved from its current location? 
Based on informal discussions with homeowners around the neighborhood, the Capital Project Committee noted concerns many families had with the playground being so close to 112th Place--a street that much of the neighborhood uses to enter and exit the neighborhood. The Committee also noted the portion of 112th Place that wraps around the north and west side of the park incurs the least amount of traffic of all the streets that surround the park area. So, the plan incorporated moving the park closer to 112th Way and further away from the heavier traffic streets of 112th Place and Florence Street.

In addition, the new toddler playground was situated further away from the street than the older kids playground and benches were installed in locations around the playground that will allow the adults to situate themselves between the street and their kids in the playground.
3. Why doesn't the District install speed bumps to slow down traffic around Dunes Park?
Unfortunately, the District (nor the master HOA) does not own or maintain any of the streets within the Dunes Park neighborhood. (The townhome HOA does own and maintain the streets surrounding the townhomes.) Commerce City is responsible for maintaining the streets and enforcing traffic ordinances (including speeding and street parking) applicable to the streets. So far, the City has not been interested in installing speed bumps around any locations within Dunes Park (or any other neighborhoods for that matter)--with the one exception of installing speed bumps on certain streets bordering schools. Installing and maintaining speed bumps costs money and the City operates on a tight budget. In addition, the City has indicated it is concerned that--as a matter of fairness to all City residents--if it installs speed bumps in one neighborhood, speed bumps should also be installed in other neighborhoods with similar issues. Installing two or three speed bumps in Dunes Park will not break the City's budget but installing 90 or 100 speed bumps across the City would be a significant financial commitment.
4. Why not install rubber playground surfacing throughout the playground?
The poured-in-place rubber playground surface is expensive to install and maintain. The cost to install a poured-in-place surface throughout the playground would have caused the cost of the project to increase by between $40,000 and $50,000.  Although the District probably could have stretched its funds to finance this additional cost, the Committee was also concerned with the future costs of repairing and maintaining the surface. The poured-in-place surface has an expected life of about 7 years and has a replacement cost of approximately $58,000--which would mean the District would have needed to increase its annual capital reserve contribution by approximately $8,300/year ($58,000 / 7 years).  Also, repairing vandalized surfaces could be expensive as well.

So, the Committee decided to install the poured-in-place surfacing only around the entry areas to the playground equipment and rubber mats underneath "fall zones" for swings and slides. The remainder of the playground surface will be in the form of wood chips (which is ADA compliant for special needs children). The annual cost for replacing/renewing the wood chips surfacing is estimated to be between $1,000 and $2,000 per year (plus little or no expected vandalism costs related to the wood chips).
5. How will storm water drainage be managed for the new playground?
A perforated pipe runs underground from the northeast border of the playground to the southwest playground border.  The northeast end of the pipe has a drain to capture water runoff from the grass areas that slope down towards the playground.  Water will be channeled through the pipe to a 3ft x 3ft x 5ft deep underground drainage area on the southwest corner of the playground.  The underground drainage area is filled with large rocks to allow water to collect and eventually soak into the surrounding ground.

Additionally, the drainage pipe running through the park is perforated to allow collection of water runoff within the playground area.   The playground surface is 18 inches deep and is comprised of 12 to 14 inches of wood chip mulch and, beneath that, 4 to 6 inches of gravel.  Storm water should quickly soak through the mulch and into the layer of gravel.  If the gravel becomes too water-logged, water should eventually find its way into the underground, perforated storm drain pipe, which will channel that water to the southwest underground drainage area and allow such water to soak into the surrounding ground over time.

This drainage system should allow the playground to weather storms much better than the old playground installed by the developer (which had no drainage system).

Photo History of the Playground Project

Just for fun, we decided to accumulate a "before, during and after" photo history of this project!

October 2013 - The "Old" Dunes Park Playground
November 2013 - Site Excavation
January 10th to January 18th - Playground Equipment Installation
May 2014 - The "New" Dunes Park Playground