Medlock Park playground set to receive $240,000 upgrade this spring – Decaturish

This story has been updated.

Greater Decatur, Georgia — The Medlock Park playground is set to receive a major upgrade next spring.

According to plans submitted to, the new playground equipment will cost around $240,000 and will be built by PlaySouth Playground Creators. The new park will include shaders for playground equipment. The final cost will likely be higher due to labor and shipping costs. To see the full proposal, click here.

DeKalb County Recreation, Parks and Cultural Affairs emailed resident Jesse Winchester with details of the project after he inquired about it.

“Nothing beats having a nice playground that the kids can’t even use because it’s too hot,” Winchester wrote to the county’s parks and recreation department. “This playground has been around since I was a kid and I think it’s time for an upgrade that includes shaders that will allow kids to enjoy the playground during summer vacation. Before than Covid hits in 2020, funds were allocated for a brand new playground in this location, but now they have suddenly disappeared.

A rendering of the new Medlock Park playground. Image provided to Decaturish

In response, county officials assured him that the funds had not disappeared. In fact, the project will soon be reviewed by the DeKalb County Commission.

“We have the proposal for the replacement playground, which is part of SPLOST,” Division Chief Paige K. Singer wrote. “This is with our procurement department and should be approved by the [DeKalb County Commission] in the next weeks. Once approved, the playground will be ordered and installed in early spring.

Supply chain issues are also a factor in the construction schedule.

Project manager David Fischer said in an email: “Due to supply chain issues affecting everyone, it will take approximately 4-5 months to receive the equipment once ordered, then 60-90 days to complete the demolition of the old structure and the installation of the new one. a. We’re excited to shake this one up and are working diligently to get a new playground for your community.

DeKalb County Commissioner Jeff Rader is frustrated with the process of building the new park, and he said it’s a frustration shared by residents.

“It’s true that the funds haven’t disappeared, but I think people are eager for the improvements promised in SPLOST, and they often don’t come as quickly as people have reason to expect,” Rader said. “Furthermore, because these enhancements are intended as replacements – they are not new enhancements – the SPLOST team exercises a high degree of unilateral discretion in the design of these projects.”

Rader said residents had little say in the design of the new playground.

“They may have it all figured out, but I see comments … about wanting more shade,” Rader said. “Another aspect of this that is very troubling is the drainage of this particular property. It’s in a drainage channel, basically. At the bottom of this drainage channel, water invariably collects there and there is just a constant puddle which I imagine attracts insects. It was pretty swampy there, so they said, “OK, we’re replacing the playground,” so I don’t know enough attention was paid to the site features. This will greatly affect the usefulness of the $240,000 they propose to invest in the new equipment.

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Harold B. McConnell