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Monday, Aug. 29, 2016

Park dept to move rocket slide

Thursday, January 10, 2013

When it was first installed, the "rocket slide" in West Leach Park was surrounded by like-purposed equipment, including a jungle gym, a swing set, other slides and a Daffy Duck spring bouncer.

But when the park board decided in Oct. 2011 to remove the 27-year-old equipment, they left the rocket slide. This particular monument, a public discussion determined, carried with it too much historic value.

Though the rocket slide stood alone among the trees and frisbee-golf course for the last year, the park board decided at Tuesday night's regular meeting to move the historic slide across the street and include it in the Miracle on Fourth Street playground in East Leach Park.

"We took a lot of the earlier playground out because of the flood plane," Park Manager Delray Bredehoeft said. "But the rocket slide is such an iconic piece, which is why we left it."

Bredehoeft admitted the difficulty in maintaining the surfacing to the slide, given that West Leach Park is in a flood plane.

In the motion approved by the board, the slide will be deconstructed this summer, refurbished next winter, and reconstructed next summer.

"We're hoping to accomplish this using donations and volunteers," Bredehoeft said. "It could take some time - at least a year - but it shouldn't cost much with some volunteer work."

Refurbishing the slide would include applying a powder coat, as well as repainting the individual pieces.

While the board approved the idea to move the slide "when sufficient money and time becomes available," several members agreed that the change would better utilize East and West Leach Parks individually.

"The rocket slide would look good (in the Miracle on Fourth Street playground)," board member Kathy Bates said. "But I would like to see West Leach Park utilized more since we took the playground out."

In order to create enough space for the slide, Bredehoeft suggested expanding a portion of the Miracle on Fourth Street playground.

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