Works are set to start this week to construct a new playground at Bernie Goodwin Memorial Park, Morisset, following extensive remediation of the site.
The inclusive playground will span across two separate areas, an upper playground area catering to younger children and a lower playground area targeted towards older children. Outdoor fitness equipment will also be installed to cater for those looking to increase their fitness in an outdoor setting.
Lake Macquarie Mayor Cr Kay Fraser said the playground at Bernie Goodwin Memorial Park will provide a space for the Morisset community to connect and socialise.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has further highlighted the demand within our community for outdoor recreational spaces,” Cr Fraser said.
“I am looking forward to seeing the playground completed and this reserve reopened to the community for all to enjoy.”
Parliamentary Secretary for the Hunter Catherine Cusack commended Lake Macquarie City Council on the progress of the playground upgrades which have received funding through the NSW Government’s $400 million Stronger Country Communities Fund.
“When complete, young people in and around Lake Macquarie will have a vibrant, safe, inclusive play space that caters to their unique needs,” Ms Cusack said.
Council demolished the playground at Bernie Goodwin Memorial Park in December 2018, unearthing asbestos in the process.
Council’s Manager Asset Management Brendan Callander said the asbestos discovery caused delays to the project while Council worked with specialist hygienists to develop a plan to manage the contamination found on site.
“This involved capping the entire site with more than 3500m3 of soil to bury the contaminants,” Mr Callander said.
“The remediation process itself presented complexities as the site is home to several beautiful mature trees, which would be impacted if covered with soil to this depth, and we hoped to maintain these trees to provide shade for the playground site.
“Our engineers came up with an innovative solution to build sandstone barriers around the trees, and fill this area in with large stones to allow the trees to continue to breath. These sandstone barriers have also created additional seating in the area for visitors.”
The playground upgrade is part of the Bernie Goodwin Memorial Park Master Plan, which will see the park transformed into an exciting recreation precinct with a new skate park, dedicated open space, barbecue facilities and outdoor exercise equipment.