City officials are now investigating the condition of the playground equipment that once stood at the recently demolished Yucca Recreation Center.
Mayor Dennis Kintigh said during a recent interview that — to his understanding — the equipment had not been removed in a reusable condition.
Following up on the comment, Bill Morris, the city’s community development director, and Jim Burress, director of Parks and Recreation, shared similar statements with the Daily Record indicating there was damage to the equipment.
A story on status of the equipment was published on Jan. 22.
City Councilor Juan Oropesa, chairman of the Infrastructure Committee, asked for updates on the Yucca Recreation Center’s demolition, and the playground equipment, during a discussion of non-action items on Monday afternoon. Oropesa said to his understanding, the equipment was “not worth anything — it’s just rumbled.”
In response, Morris — who serves as project manager for the Yucca Recreation Center demolition — said that information was “incorrect.”
Morris said he looked over the equipment and “could identify only one broken part.” Morris did confirm the equipment still had concrete attached in some places, and clarified that taking off the concrete was not part of the scope of work in the request for proposals.
“We’re getting a professional company to come in and give us an assessment of the quality of the product, what’s missing, what needs to be replaced, and then have a logical discussion on the issue,” Morris said.
Morris said Burress, the Parks and Recreation department and the outside contractor would examine the equipment to generate a replacement list and costs associated.
Oropesa also asked if the equipment would be going to El Capitan Park, at 2800 W. Alameda St., as planned, and Morris said he did not know at this time. Councilor George Peterson said the equipment was approved by the council to be sent to El Capitan Park. According to previous Daily Record coverage, the first mention of the equipment going to El Capitan Park was in August, when City Engineer Louis Najar shared the information with the Infrastructure Committee.
In regards to the Yucca Recreation Center, City Councilor Caleb Grant reminded the committee that the council “voted three times to tear that thing down.” Last year, two RFPs approved by the council were rejected, after each received only one proposal. The demolition was planned in August and began in December.
Grant suggested a “huddle up before we talk to the newspaper” and that “no one should talk to the paper without knowing what they are talking about.”
Kintigh said to the committee he was informed there were “issues that would not be resolved today.” Citing potential liability issues, Kintigh also asked if the manufacturer would now maintain warranties on the equipment.
“Anyway, my concern was that the way I heard it, and the point is, was the city going to make the contractor pay for the demolition or whatever — but if we’ve got it under control I guess we don’t have to worry about it,” Oropesa said.
A Roswell company, Custom Construction & Roofing LLC, had the lowest bid for demolition of the Yucca Recreation Center, at $91,043.66. But a separate contractor, GWC Construction of Lovington, was the low bidder for the playground removal and relocation. The quote for removal of the playground was $10,567.66.
City/RISD reporter Alison Penn can be reached at 575-622-7710, ext. 205, or at firstname.lastname@example.org.