After six months of being closed, Kids Castle will reopen to the public on Sept. 29, representatives from The Friends of Kids Castle announced this week.
A celebration from 2 to 5 p.m. will mark the occasion. Kids Castle is located in Doylestown Township’s Central Park.
The newly refurbished castle has been power washed and stained. New decks, cargo nets and roofing have been installed. Six new entrances have been built, which include rock-climbing bridges, a fireman’s pole and a new smaller slide, according to a press release from The Friends of Kids Castle.
New flooring has been placed throughout the castle and two new large “racing twisty slides,” sponsored by the Byers Foundation, have been installed. Volunteers have refurbished original artwork and local artists and groups have created new artwork.
The grounds have been re-graded and 400-cubic-yards of specially engineered wood fibers were added to make it as safe as possible, the press release said.
Kids Castle, which is 17 years old, was in danger of closing after the township’s annual safety audit determined it had reached its lifespan and needed immediate repairs.
The Save Kids Castle initiative was formed and Friends of Kids Castle, the organization overseeing the initiative, spearheaded a three-phase plan to restore the castle and expand its use over the next decade.
The ribbon cutting ceremony, which will feature crafts, music and entertainment, marks the successful completion of the first of three phases.
“The committee members of the Save Kids Castle initiative have been working hard since last August to raise awareness and funds to complete the initial phase. Many local businesses, including Zaveta Construction, Pro-Coat Painting, Munn Roofing, and SofterWare, Inc., have donated their time and services to off-set the cost of repairs,” the press release said.
Thanks to the contributions from more than 800 individuals, groups and businesses, The Friends of Kids Castle have almost reached the Phase I fundraising goal of $150,000.
“It’s been amazing to see how the community has come together to support this playground. The local businesses, schools, students and volunteers have stepped up in many ways and should be proud of what they’ve helped accomplish,” said Lauren Sheehan, chair for The Friends of Kids Castle.
Continued support is needed as Phase I is wrapped up and Phase II begins. Plans call for installation of additional playground equipment designed for younger children, as well as handicap accessible pieces to be as inclusive as possible. The bar has been set high, as it will require an overall fundraising campaign of more than $600,000 to complete.
Jon Biedermann, finance director for the Friends of Kids Castle, said $600,000 is a lot of money but that figure is “necessary to make sure the playground is 100 percent inclusive to children of all ages and abilities.”
For more information, visit SaveKidsCastle.org.