Safety concerns close parts of county park

Michael Lopardi

Photo: Video by ktnv.com

Safety concerns close parts of county park

CREATED Sep. 11, 2013

Las Vegas, NV (KTNV) -- Safety concerns have closed parts of a recently renovated county park.

Fencing surrounds the two main playground areas at Grapevine Springs Park near Hacienda Avenue and Lamb Boulevard.

"You have a lot of parents that are very frustrated, very angry because their kids don't have anywhere to go and play," said parent Diana Castle.

The park reopened in October after undergoing more than $1 million in upgrades. Castle said the fencing first appeared around June; she heard the closing may be related to issues with the ground underneath the play area but didn't get a clear answer.

"We can't enjoy it. The kids can't enjoy it," said Castle. "There's nowhere for the kids to go except to be on the street."

Turns out, the closing is over safety concerns. Clark County spokesman Dan Kulin said the safety surface under the play areas started crumbling and then failed a safety test. The county put up fences to keep people out. The surface appears to be a rubber-like material meant to lessen injuries if a child were to trip or fall. 

The county said the surface passed an initial safety test and it's unclear why it began crumbling so soon after installation. Kulin said a variety of factors may be to blame. The material is under warranty and the county is working with the contractor to replace parts of the ground, Kulin said.

"My kids have fallen on this mat, I don't know how many times, and they've never gotten hurt," said Castle.

County commissioner Mary Beth Scow told Action News over the phone that the county wants to make sure the area is safe and tested before reopening to the public.

Kulin said the repairs would not cost any tax dollars because of the warranty. The surface material is also in use in other county parks but there are no reports of similar problems, Kulin said.

It's unclear how long it will take to get the patches repaired. Other areas of the park remain open.

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