Parents say aging west side park presents safety issues for kids

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. - Several parents are concerned about an aging park on the west side.

North Wayne Elementary School's playground was built 21 years ago and some parents say it's falling apart.

“It’s really not that great from what it used to be... slowly you start seeing more bricks missing and it looks like they try and fix them by nailing them in, but eventually they just go away anyway," parent Andrew Howard said about missing bricks on a platform for kids to play on. “I could definitely see a kid running around and playing tag and what not, you can definitely twist an ankle on that.”

Others are concerned about trash on the playground and believe some people use drugs frequently at the park.

“You’re bound to find pretty much anything here," parent Leanne Howard said.

Parents are also concerned about a retention pond in the rear of the park just a few dozen yards behind the playground equipment.

"To make it even safer for the children I think it’s about to time to get a fence or some kind of barrier, wall other than just the plants," Leanne Howard said.

Wayne Township School District Spokeswoman Mary Lang says there is no state requirement to have a fence around the pond and that a member of the National Playground Institute inspects all the district's parks monthly.

The last report at North Wayne Elementary was in May and the inspector found the playground safe, Lang says.

Lang went on to say the district is listening to parents concerns and plans to replace one of the slides at the playground and will look at adding trash cans to reduce the amount of litter at the park.

Maintenance staff at the school cleans the park daily, but rely heavily on the community members who use it to keep it in good condition and clean, Lang says.

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