Stagecoach staying put at Thorndale Park
Otherwise, city installing all new equipment
The old stagecoach isn't rolling off into the sunset just yet.
The “home-made” historic transportation replica is being incorporated into Thorndale Park's first major remodel in about 20 years.
According to Colorado Springs Parks Manager Terry Putman, new equipment that meets modern safety standards is replacing the other equipment (tall swings and a slide) that used to be there.
The park is on Uintah Street between 23rd and 24th streets.
The stagecoach, made of metal and about 7 feet long by 7 feet high, looks enough like an Old West coach that generations of Thorndale children have climbed in and on it and “driven” it with imaginary horses.
Although Putman does not know the unit's exact age, he estimated 35 years, dating back to the days when Parks personnel designed and welded the city's own playground equipment. That practice came to a stop when safety and liability issues became more pronounced in the mid-'70s, he said.
“Under current playground safety standards, we'd never be able to put something like that in today,” Putman said of the stagecoach, adding that it is safe and well-liked by children.
The new playground equipment will be age-separated, which is typical in modern parks. So one set of devices will be intended for ages 2 to 5 and the other for ages 6 to 12. Equipment will include swings, slides, a big tic-tac-toe and an excavator like the one in Vermijo Park.
Already in place is a roughly 5-foot-high climbing rock with handholds - called a “goat rock” by the manufacturer.
The project began in early August. The equipment is expected to be ready for public use by about Sept. 20.
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