In October of 2014, ValPlayso, one of Valparaiso’s most iconic and beloved playgrounds, will be disassembled and rebuilt for our future generations to enjoy.
The construction process will begin on the playground’s 20th anniversary of its original construction date. The difference between the original assembly of ValPlayso and next year’s assembly is that all of the Valparaiso elementary students will be helping to design it. Aspects distinctive to ValPlayso, such as the handprints, will be preserved and incorporated into the new design to help keep ValPlayso’s unique personality.
On Januaray 30, Design Day will begin. Design Day involves children learning about the reconstruction of the playground, giving their input on their dream playground and the selection of one child per grade to serve on the Children’s Committee, which will be aiding the design team. After the Children’s Committee meets with the design team, the community will gather at Thomas Jefferson Middle School to reveal the new design for ValPlayso.
Monica Decker, member of the Parks Foundation Board and organizer of Design Day, shared with teachers at a conference meeting held Wednesday at Central Elementary School what being a part of this project means to her.
“I absolutely adore the Parks and the Parks foundation and everything they do for this community. I am honored to just be on the foundation board let alone be asked to work on this project of ValPLAYso ...the next generation Design Day," she said. "This is really the kick off to the huge community build project and to be part of the start of the excitement is simply amazing and it's only going to grow from here. I know this is a moment in my life I will never forget and I am going to enjoy this project every step of the way.”
Rob Thorgren, also a coordinator of Design Day, shared his favorite part about being involved in the project thus far. “My favorite part thus far has been the enthusiasm people have had when asked if they would like to be involved. The original Valplayso had over 2,500 volunteers and I am sure the 'Next Generation' will have even more.”
The reconstruction of ValPlayso will be a huge community event, and a way for the children and adults of Valparaiso to connect. The best part about this project is that the children will be able to participate and see their ideas and input in the final project. Not only will they be able to contribute to the design, they will also be able to enjoy the product of their ideas for the many years to come.