Payne Park playground to undergo repairs and maintenance this week

Facility to be closed Aug. 31 through Sept. 2, city staff says

The circus-themed playground within Payne Park is very popular with families, City of Sarasota staff says. File photo
The circus-themed playground within Payne Park is very popular with families, City of Sarasota staff reports. File photo

The Payne Park playground will be closed from Wednesday, Aug. 31, through Friday, Sept. 2, for upgrades to shade structures, an inspection and general maintenance, the City of Sarasota has announced.

“Families are encouraged to use the many other public playgrounds” throughout the city, including the one within Bayfront Park, which is located at the intersection of U.S. 41 and Ringling Boulevard, a city news release points out. In addition to a playground, Bayfront Park also is home to the Steigerwalt-Jockey Children’s Fountain, the release notes.

Because of its popularity, the Payne Park playground is “used by tens of thousands of children every year,” the release continues. “To ensure the safety of all, this temporary closure is necessary to effectively upgrade and maintain the [facility],” the release adds.

“The Circus Playground at Payne Park is one of our signature attractions,” said Reliability Maintenance Planner Wes Byington in the release. “Due to vandalism, some of our shade structures have been severely damaged. After careful engineering by contractors Apollo Sunguard and Advanced Recreational Concepts,” Byington noted, city workers will elevate the shade sails covering the area for 2- to 5-year-olds, as well as those over the music zone, the release continues. “A crane will be brought in to erect taller anchoring posts,” the release explains.

“We will make the most of this closure as staff will also complete various maintenance tasks and landscape improvements within the playground area,” he added in the release.

The circus-themed playground opened in June 2012, the release notes. It is surrounded by 29 acres of urban parkland adjacent to the Sarasota Police Headquarters, which stands at 2099 Adams Lane in downtown Sarasota.

Payne Park also has a half-mile exercise trail, a skateboard park and tennis courts.