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Oklahoma City closes seven playgrounds temporarily for safety risk

A potential safety risk involving foreign material in the playing surface at seven Oklahoma City playgrounds has prompted city officials to close them temporarily.
BY MICHAEL KIMBALL mkimball@opubco.com Published: October 12, 2012
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The foreign materials could be removed, or the entire playing surface could be replaced.

It's impossible to estimate how long the playgrounds will be closed before city officials know what the solution will be, he added.

“Speed is not of the essence here. Safety is of the essence,” Whisenhunt said. “We'll put them back in service as quickly as possible, but not until we're sure until the potentially offending material has been removed.”

It's unclear if this will end up costing the city money.

“We don't know that for sure, but all the city's contracts require the contractor meet the specifications of the contract,” he said.

Tom March, owner of March's Mulch, said he doesn't know how the materials wound up in the wood chips, but he said it's possible a competitor upset about losing the city parks contract may be to blame.

“We have spent over $4,000 having our mulch tested, and it all tested perfect,” March said. “We feel like if there's something wrong with our mulch, somebody has either dumped something on it, sabotaged it or whatever.”


AT A GLANCE

Oklahoma City's 7 Temporarily closed playgrounds

Douglas Park, 500 NW 47

Lake Draper Concession, SE 104 and W Stanley Draper Drive

Lake Draper North Point, Point 10 Recreation Area

Route 66 Park, 9901 NW 23

Washington Park, 400 N High Ave.

Woodrun Park, 4 N Willowood Drive

Youngs Park, 4610 S Youngs Blvd.

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