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The sprawling Glen Meadows Park in Hamburg is in line for roughly $40,000 worth of new playground equipment as the last phase of an ambitious playground capital improvements project in the village.

Village officials will open bids on the playground equipment Thursday and hope to have the equipment installed this fall if the weather is good. The new play areas would then open to the public next spring.

"It's going to be very nice," Recreation Director Thomas Moses said of the project.

Once Glen Meadows' improvements are finished, it will round out the village's overhaul of its five playgrounds -- done in three years -- two years ahead of the original schedule. The park is located in the Forest Glen section of the village.

The village is planning a separate small playground for toddlers and preschoolers behind the tennis courts, with a larger play area for older children envisioned near the park's picnic area.

Preliminary quotes, not bids, indicate that equipment for the section targeting 2- to 5-year-olds would cost about $9,900, while equipment for the older children would cost around $29,000. The equipment would be in green and brown tones to blend in with the other playground colors.

Glen Meadows ranked second in village playground attendance records for this past summer, with 1,245 children attending the seven-week program.

The village also plans to have mens and womens' handicapped-accessible bathrooms installed at Glen Meadows later this fall to replace the portable bathrooms used there, Village Administrator David W. Fountaine said.

The quotes for those bathrooms totaled about $71,000, much more than the village expected, Moses said. The village was figuring on a cost of about $45,000. Village public works employees will do some of the work in-house to help reduce the cost, Moses said.

Moses also is asking the village Recreation Commission to consider looking at paving an additional area for skateboarding, in-line skating and bike jumping areas at Glen Meadows. Yet, he also questioned insurance liabilities associated with those activities.

Commission Chairman David Lanfear earlier this month suggested that the village first review the amount of available space at Glen Meadows to accommodate those activities. Other commission members expressed interest in pursuing paved bicycle paths and the potential for cross-country skiing and ice skating at the park.

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