Paso Robles News|Wednesday, June 19, 2019
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Barney Schwartz Park gets a new playground, city tennis courts are getting resurfaced 

Barney Schwartz lower playground 1

Fifteen year old wood play equipment at Barney Schwartz Park

Dale Schwartz Memorial Endowment funds picks up $250,000 playground cost, tennis court improvements to cost city $43,767

-A replacement for the lower playground at Barney Schwartz Park and new surfaces for the city’s eight tennis courts were passed by the Paso Robles City Council. Tennis court improvements also includes new windscreens for the four Centennial Park courts. The replacement and improvements were on the council consent calendar, which was passed unanimously. In two separate reports on the playground and the tennis courts, Community Services Department Maintenance Supervisor Freda Barman said the lower playground “suffers from worn out play features and weather-caused deterioration,” and current conditions of the tennis courts include “cracking, peeling and fading.” The playground will be replaced at the cost of $250,000. The new playground will be funded through the Dale Schwartz Memorial Endowment Fund, at no cost to the city. Tennis court improvements will cost the city $39,788 plus $3,979 contingency for unforeseen conditions for a total $43,767.

The endowment fund is administered by the non-profit REC Foundation, a key supporter of city recreation programs. The foundation has helped fund city recreation projects such as replacing the City Park playground, reopening Centennial Pool, the Salinas River Corridor, Sherwood Park playground, Sherwood Dog Park, Municipal Pool and Centennial Pool shade structures and many more projects.

Community Services Director Julie Dahlen said the city is fortunate to have the support of the REC Foundation and to be able to provide and maintain quality recreational services to the community. “We are thrilled about the new playground at Barney Schwartz Park. Once the tennis courts are resurfaced, we expect to see tennis players returning. We want to support people remaining healthy and fit in our community.”

Barney Schwartz lower playground

Play equipment at the lower Barney Schwartz Park playground

Barney Schwartz Park was dedicated in 2002 and since then the lower playground has become worn from 15 years of use and weather deterioration. City staff has contacted Landscape Structures to design a new playground in the existing lower playground space. Landscape Structures has supplied the playgrounds for three other city parks: Sherwood Forest, Uptown Family Park and City Park. It is expected that the new playground will be ready by this summer.

grass on Sherwood Park tennis court

Grass growing through surface of a Sherwood Park tennis court

The city maintains eight tennis courts, four at Centennial Park and four at Sherwood Park. The courts were last resurfaced in 2002. Industry standards call for resurfacing every four to eight years. Contract negotiations will be underway with First Serve Productions to resurface the courts and install new windscreens at Centennial Park. The windscreens have mostly been removed due to large tears.

A budget of $60,000 was allocated for repairs to the tennis courts in the city’s 2016/17 budget: $35,000 for repairing the Centennial Park courts and $25,000 for repairing the Sherwood Park courts.

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About the author: Reporter Jackie Iddings

Jackie Iddings is a contributing reporter and photographer for the Paso Robles Daily News.