Gaithersburg is soliciting bids to build two new playgrounds at Bohrer Park under its 12-year playground replacement program, according to a request for proposal released by the city.
The current playground structure will be torn down once the new structures are finished. Playground replacement is necessary to meet constantly updating federal safety requirements, parks maintenance supervisor Laura Sarno said. The city also wants the new playgrounds to be farther from the park's parking lot and pond.
The city only implemented the replacement program recently. The current playground structure was built in 1996.
"You can only do so much in one year," Sarno said. "And not just because of money." It takes a considerable amount of time to plan and construct a new site. The city is replacing each of its playgrounds in rotation based on their age every year.
The new structures will be built for $150,000 as part of a Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.
The city has specified in its request that one playground area should be designed for 5 to 12-year-olds, while the other will be for 2 to 5-year-olds. The structure for older children will feature multiple slides of different types, a pyramid rope climb and a rock wall climb. The city has also requested different kinds of panels for the structure for children to play with, such as one with instruments in the design of a marching band.
The other area will have a single structure with a double slide and talk tube. The designer will have the option of building a conventional deck structure, or one in the shape and theme of a train.
Bohrer Park, located on South Frederick Avenue next to Gaithersburg High School, features water and skate parks, as well as an activity center that houses basketball courts and a fitness center.
The city was also accepting proposals to renovate Bohrer's water park until Dec. 15. The renovations will include a new gutter system and the construction of a toddler's pool.