Snoqualmie’s all-inclusive Centennial Park playground will be open to the public in early April barring any unforeseen complications.
At 10,000 square feet, the project was paid for by the Real Estate Excise Tax, King County grants and private donations.
The playground will feature 15 play structures and include ramps and surface materials to improve wheelchair access; play equipment for those with mobility impairments; as well as tactile and musical equipment for those with mobility and sight impairments.
“Centennial Park will cater to a far wider range of ability levels and capabilities than it previously had been,” said Dylan Gamble, a capital improvement plan manager for the City of Snoqualmie. “The all-inclusive playground model is an effort to provide space for all kids regardless of their differences.”
The $976,000 project, which broke ground in November 2023, was adopted in June 2023 as a part of Snoqualmie’s 2023-2B Capital Improvement Plan — a collaborative document drafted by the city council and community members that identifies and prioritizes investments while estimating the funding needed from various sources.
Upon resolution approval, Snoqualmie Mayor Katherine Ross signed a contract with New X Construction, detailing the preparation of the area and installation of the Landscape Structures equipment that was previously purchased by the city.
Inclusive playgrounds, like the updated Centennial Park playground, benefit all children through the building of communication skills and friendships while normalizing all levels of abilities and eliminating stereotypes, according to a study conducted by the National Institute of Health.
In 2010, the Department of Justice published revised regulations of the Americans with Disabilities Act, which set minimum requirements for newly designed and constructed government facilities, public accommodations and commercial facilities to be accessible and usable by individuals with disabilities.
Included in those regulations was the requirement that all play areas designed after March 15, 2012, must have at least one accessible route to each play structure — typically met by installing a ramp for raised equipment.
The Centennial Park project exceeds all ADA requirements and adds Snoqualmie to a long list of cities that are home to similar inclusive playgrounds.
“Our goal will be to bring all of our parks that we do replacements on in the future much more in the direction of all-inclusive play,” Gamble said.
The City of Snoqualmie predicts an increase in park play compared to the old Centennial Park playground and is prepared to facilitate additional maintenance to the bathrooms, garbage cans and general areas to accommodate the crowds, according to Gamble.