Funding for Playground Equipment in a Reserve Study

Home Owners Associations often have community parks with play structures that are a valuable asset to the community. However these areas also carry significant liability if not properly maintained.

Other than the typical annual inspections and minor maintenance expenses we recommend funding for replenishment of the ground base material (wood chips, pea gravel, rubber, etc.) every 2-3 years and large scale replacement of the structures every 15-20 years.

These play structures for most communities are generally of a higher quality that have longer useful life expectancies than residential models but also are significantly more expensive than what a typical homeowner would put in their yard. The cost to remove and replace these common area play structures is often $20,000-$30,000.

We typically recommend funding for the replacement of these structures well before failure due to the liability they carry. From what we have seen over the years it is just not worth the risk to the membership of the community to have equipment that could carry a greater risk of injury than is already present with playgrounds.

Some communities ​decide that removal of the play equipment is what is in their best interest. If that is the case we can fund for removal of the play structures as well as a refurbishment of the landscaping from a playground into whatever the community decides is more fitting (e.g. lawn, volleyball court, tetherball, etc.).