Vandalism slows Mariners Park playground project

The third and worst act of vandalism happened on Oct. 17 to the new rubberized surface

Multiple acts of vandalism has set back the construction of the new playground at Mariners Park.

On Tuesday night, Oct. 17, the rubber surfacing of the park was defaced.

“This is the third, and most significant incident of vandalism at the park site since construction began in September,” said Veronika Stewart, communications manager for the city, in the press release.

Since the park closed vandalism has added $15,000 to the project, pushing back timelines and exceeding the budget.

“This project is the result of many community partners coming together to build a park that is accessible for kids of all abilities,” said Richard Pucci, director of operations for the city. “It’s obviously very disappointing to see something like this happen.”

The specialized rubber surfacing is to ensure the park is accessible to all children. The surfacing requires dry conditions to set, which is why the playground has been enclosed in a tent. Crews were contracted from Vancouver Safety Surfacing to complete the job and after the surfacing was damaged on Tuesday, they have been set back another two to three days, stated the city’s press release.

In previous incidents, the city said that a sign base was destroyed, fencing panels were knocked over and custom concrete forms for the toys were ruined.

“The city is in the process of adding additional security measures to protect the site. If the public has any information regarding this incident, or witnessed unusual behaviour in the park area the evening of October 17th, they are encouraged to report it to the local RCMP,” Stewart said.

Funding for the new playground came from the Lions Club members who raised $100,000 by January to replaced the wooden toys the club had purchased 23 years ago. Other sponsors for the project came from the Port of Prince Rupert, Shell Canada (Prince Rupert LNG) and Macro Properties.

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