New playground for Houghton

Installation next week

Michelle Monroe

By Michelle Monroe

Executive Editor

The Facts

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ST. ALBANS CITY — When work is completed next weekend, Houghton Park will have a new playground.

“I think it’s going to be amazing,” said St. Albans City Recreation director Kelly Viens.

The playground design selected by the Parks Commission is aimed at children aged 5 to 12.

“I wanted it to be something any self-respecting 5-year-old would play on,” Bob Pettinelli of Pettinelli and Associates told the Parks Commission when he first presented the design back in 2014.

The playground includes several climbing sections, a suspension bridge to help kids develop balance, and multiple slides.

The suspension bridge “moves enough to let kids think they’re in danger,” said Pettinelli.

Prior to putting in the new playground, the city had the existing pieces inspected and those deemed unsafe have been removed, explained Viens.

The two swing sets remain. They’ll receive new chains and seats and a fresh coat of paint later in the spring, according to Viens.

Two climbing elements and crawl-through tube also remain.

Originally, the commission had planned to move some of the remaining elements, but Viens said they “look pretty nice where they are” and will remain in Houghton.

Two trees in poor condition had to be removed. New trees will be planted this spring.

The parks commission also hopes to build a pavilion at the park and to add a drinking fountain.

The new playground, which costs approximately $44,000, is being paid for with a combination of grant funds and funds remaining from a previous project which can only be used for improvements to the park.

Work done by the city’s public works department helped to reduce the overall cost by about $4,000, according to Viens.

Pettinelli and Associates staff and city public works employees will begin the installation process on Friday, April 15. The full installation will take place the next day. Anyone interested in helping out should contact Viens at 524-1500 x. 266.

Anyone wishing to donate to future improvements at the park may do so at the recreation department’s Web site ( All donations are tax deductible.