I'm not sure if this one quite belongs in that same category, but it doesn't surprise me that things are changing. Kindof a bummer though. I didn't grow up in Richardson, but we had this same Rocket Slide in Edmond, OK.
Playground equipment at Heights Park in Richardson to be removed
By IAN McCANN / The Dallas Morning News
RICHARDSON – The Heights Park rocket ship will close for good this week, more than 40 years after children here first climbed aboard.
Because of safety concerns, Richardson city officials will have the outdated but beloved playground equipment removed and put into storage. Michael Massey, the city's parks and recreation director, said city leaders knew the equipment had outlasted its expected lifetime, usually considered to be about 20 years. But until a safety audit was conducted this spring, the extent of the problems wasn't clear. Much of the equipment presents serious dangers, including head entrapment, impalement and entanglement hazards.
"The detailed audit really explained the depth and breadth of the problem," Mr. Massey said.
Though it's unusual for a city to have equipment that's more than four decades old still in use, ever-evolving safety standards often mean that playgrounds don't meet current guidelines.
A few pieces meet current standards and will remain. The city is working with a consultant to design a new playground, but there isn't a firm construction timeline.
The Heights Park equipment is by far the oldest in Richardson. Mr. Massey said the city regularly replaces its playgrounds, but the emotional and historical attachment to the Heights equipment kept it in use. "Heights Park is a special place," Mr. Massey said. "We maintained them to the best of our abilities. The question is, how long should a piece of playground equipment last?"