PRINCE RUPERT, BC – The City regrets to report that Tuesday night the rubber surfacing at the new playground at Mariners Park was vandalized, and portions will now need repair and replacement.
“This project is the result of many community partners coming together to build a park that is accessible for kids of all abilities,” said Richard Pucci, Director of Operations. “It’s obviously very disappointing to see something like this happen.”
Residents may have noticed the tent and scaffolding that enclose this area. Specialized crews from Vancouver Safety Surfacing were hired to lay the special rubberized product, which required dry conditions to cure and set. The vandalism has delayed the work of contractors by 2-3 days, pushing back their project timelines for other communities as well. Despite the setback, crews are continuing to move ahead, and once completed, the surfacing will make the park accessible to children of all abilities, including those in wheelchairs.
This is the third, and most significant incident of vandalism at the park site since construction began in September. Cumulatively, these incidents of vandalism have now tacked on more than $15,000 in unforeseen costs to the project, exceeding budget and completion timelines. In previous incidents, a sign base was destroyed, fencing panels were knocked over, and custom concrete forms for the toys were also destroyed.
The City is in the process of adding additional security measures to protect the site. If the public has any information regarding this incident, or witnessed unusual behaviour in the park area the evening of October 17th, they are encouraged to report it to the local RCMP.