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The Big Toy’s castle plans are not cast in concrete quite yet

M. Callier
M. Callier

Of the Keizertimes

The design for the Big Toy is still being tweaked.

In September Rick Day, owner of Advantage Precast in Keizer, offered to donate blocks of concrete that could be used for a castle look at the play structure set to be built by community volunteers at Keizer Rapids Park over a five-day span in June.

In Tuesday’s Community Build Task Force meeting – the first since October – those plans got changed a bit.

Day’s idea of using concrete to make a castle-like entrance didn’t get approval according to Mark Caillier, general coordinator for the project.

“Given a whole lot more time and money we might be able to use the concrete components,” Caillier said. “But there still would be a scale issue. The ability to get those things certified is what it comes down to. I talked with Rick today and he is ready to incorporate the material into other parts, such as a gate set up like a drawbridge or using some of the blocks to take part of the fence. I looked at a couple of things with him today. He has some panels that could be a base under a fence.

“Rick wants to help in any way he can,” Caillier said. “He still has some things he feels we can use.”

Marlene Quinn, chair of the task force, noted the certification was a big reason for the change.

“We were worried about the certification, which is why we’re doing that front,” Quinn said.

Caillier said the goal is to make the Big Toy certified ADA (American with Disabilities Act) accessible. Other certification concerns came up in further discussions with project consultant Leathers and Associates.

“There are two other certification standards,” Caillier said. “Is it incredibly important? If it’s in your own backyard, not so much. But this is a public park. I met with our risk management people at the city and they encouraged us to listen to our consultants.”

Since the task force previously approved a motion to use the concrete as key components of the Big Toy, that motion was rescinded.

“I would move we use donated concrete material from Rick Day as we find appropriate for the Big Toy, but not to include items that are play structures,” Caillier said.

Caillier said after the meeting the intent originally was to have the castle be on the backside of the structure, not the main entrance.

“We’ll try to create a low castle wall and arch way and drawbridge for the east entrance,” he said. “Coming from the west, you would see the rock in the back with planters. We had talked about stacking them on top of the concrete. But we would have to have hangers for that to work. A whole bunch of folks said they had no experience doing that and it doesn’t come pre-approved. It had never been used before, so no one was familiar with it.”