EVERETT — The playground equipment at American Legion Memorial Park wasn’t a match for a fire that destroyed the structure last month.
Fire investigators determined that the fire on the night of Feb. 9 was set intentionally, but Everett police have not been able to identify a suspect and have closed their investigation.
The play structure is cordoned off. Plastic slides are melted, the coated deck surfaces are charred and warped, and a couple of the steel support tubes are broken in half.
“It melted about three-fourths of the playground” equipment, said Lori Cummings, Everett’s parks and recreation director.
A separate play structure in the park for preschool kids wasn’t damaged in the fire.
The city is moving forward with obtaining a replacement structure, and is requesting the City Council to budget $175,000 to purchase it.
If the City Council approves the funding, the parks department will be able to buy new equipment in April. It is hoped that construction would be scheduled for the summer so the new equipment will be in place for most of the school break, Cummings said.
The council is scheduled to vote on the funding at its March 22 meeting.
The city has been working through the King County Director’s Association to estimate the actual price of replacing the equipment.
The association is a purchasing cooperative many local governments use to obtain equipment at bulk costs.
The Legion Park equipment was installed in 1998 at a cost of about $100,000.
There are 19 playgrounds in Everett city parks. The public playgrounds closest to Legion Park that are not on school property are the ones at Wiggums Hollow Park and Senator Henry M. Jackson Park.
Not all of the playgrounds in the city are as old as the Legion Park structure was, city spokeswoman Meghan Pembroke said.
Nine of them have been replaced since 2005, Pembroke said, and the city tries to set aside some money each year to replace others.