Kids Castle in Cranberry Community Park nears completion

| Saturday, Sept. 21, 2013, 9:00 p.m.

The new, one-of-a-kind Kids Castle Playground at Cranberry Community Park is nearing completion after months of fundraising, planning and construction.

“It will be a very special playground and one that involved over 5,000 people to make a reality. And that is what makes it a ‘community' playground,” said township supervisor Bruce Mazzoni.

A dedication ceremony at 4:30 p.m. Thursday will mark the official opening of the community-designed facility.

The Cranberry Township Community Chest selected the playground as its 2013 community project of the year. The community chest committed $50,000 toward the nearly $500,000 cost of the Kids Castle playground to be used for playground equipment.

Additional funding came from a slew of sources, including local businesses, organizations and community members.

“It's been all hands on deck,” said township Manager Jerry Andree. “Everybody is involved with the playground.”

The Kids Castle will consist of three distinct parts that reflect Cranberry's history and future, Andree said.

The Yesterday area will have swings, climbing areas, rolling hills and riding animals, according plans on the community chest website. The Today area will have a custom-built play area and feature a clock tower similar to the one at the municipal building. The Tomorrow area will have the latest in play structures and playground technology.

“It creates a lot of interplay,” Andree said.

He said there will also be places for parents and other adults to sit while children play.

“It's much more than a kid's playground. It's more of a family retreat area,” Andree said.

Kids Castle is replacing the old Playtime Palace, which was opened in 1990.

Volunteers from Westinghouse Electric Co. and Alcoa, Inc. helped dismantle the old Playtime Palace in April.

Some of the wood from Playtime Palace was pressure-washed and stained for use in the Yesterday section of the Kids Castle.

Construction on the new playground began in mid-July, Andree said. Hundreds of people volunteered in shifts to help build the Today section of the playground during a community-build weekend in August.

Cranberry officials said the Playtime Palace was too old to maintain and did not comply with current safety standards.

The new playground is built from materials that will not rot and require less maintenance, Mazzoni said. It will also exceed Public Playground Safety Guidelines standards and Americans With Disabilities Act requirements.

“Many pieces of the equipment are very unique and one of a kind,” Mazzoni said.

Rachel Farkas is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-779-6902 or

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