During the last HOA meeting on Tuesday, the final vendor list was agreed to for bid solicitation and a final draft Request-For-Proposal (RFP) was presented. A resident and new member of the Playground Committee, Joy Warriner, with some experience drafting RFPs, will review and offer suggestions to minimize the risk of change orders. Real Manage will then send to vendors later next week.
As a refresher, this all started with a safety inspection at the end of last year that the Board commissioned in response to concerns with the main playscape wooden pillars. The inspection failed on quite a few items, primarily due to changing/improving safety standard over the 25 years since it was build and installed.
A playground safety inspection is based on a Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) standard and has weight in civil court if someone were to get hurt. The liability risk to the HOA and the fact that the only solution to passing inspection was to replace the entire playscape, the HOA made the playground off limits and subsequently removed it, even without yet having selected a replacement. Inspections are not required by the city or county and are not based on any city or county standard. Generally, it’s the insurance company that has a requirement for routine inspections.
The first RFP sent to two vendors was based on a like-for-like replacement of existing equipment. Recognizing an opportunity to improve the playground and dissatisfaction with the resulting bids the board elected to solicit feedback from the community via a survey to author a second RFP based on community input. A survey was sent out and compiled.
The top things from the survey were:
- Climbing things (Climbing Web being #1)
- Things for older kids (climbing things being #1)
- Spinning things
Other considerations for the second RFP where budget, ADA compliance, ground cover and potentially expanding the play area south. The board commissioned a land survey to find the boundary between Davis Spring Residential and Lord of Life. The survey found that we have about 35’ we can expand into. For the RFP we have asked each vendor to provide two estimates for the boundary.
The current ground cover, pea gravel, has not been tested by CPSC for fall highs greater than 5’ and thus is not suitable for the equipment we desire. The next best and affordable options are Engineered Wood Fiber (essentially mulch) and recycled rubber. We have asked each vendor to estimate both. Also, we have been specific in the RFP regarding the rubber and its potential to contain certain chemicals know or suspected to cause adverse health effects. Also, each of these ground covers are by default ADA compliant although we have found that we don’t need to be ADA compliant.
The Board already is expecting that the bids, based on what we want as a community, will be much higher than our current budget. As such, the plan is to have two phases. Once a bid is selected, each line item will be prioritized for phase one or two. Certain things are a must for the first phase: ie primary playscape, boarder, ground cover. The first phase will also include high priority smaller equipment per the survey.
The four vendors selected for solicitation are below, including one that built Pepper Rock Park for Brushy Creek MUD. The others are referrals from residents.
- TF Harper
- Rainbow Play Systems
Please reach out to the Board or the Playground Committee mailboxes if you have any questions.