Dream Playground will re-open soon in Kenosha

Posted at 6:07 PM, Aug 09, 2016
and last updated 2016-08-09 20:26:07-04

KENOSHA -- The five-month battle over faulty flooring at a playground for special needs kids has come to an end.

After months of talks, the City of Kenosha is ready to move forward with a half-million dollar fix. The Dream Playground's been shut down since March because its flooring was deemed unsafe.

So many people put their time and money into this park that this is a welcome sight. 

Amity Forsythe and Dano Underwood long to get back inside. The gate's been locked since March.

"I was very sad. I was like awww," said Forsythe.

The Dream Playground is all-inclusive, with swings and a merry go-round for children with special needs. It opened October 10th.

"3,000 people came together and put this playground together, and that in itself makes the story so miraculous," said Tammy Conforti, Dream Playground president and founder.

Sadly, five months later, tests determined 15,000 square feet of rubber flooring were defective.

"It meant that children who had disabilities again in our playground were sitting on the sidelines once again," said Conforti.

The city considered suing the original contractor, but this week came to an agreement.

"The settlement is for approximately $230,000 that will help offset part of the new project costs," said Matt Knight, city attorney.

The new project costs $588,000, but the city attorney says it will not cost tax payers a dime. It will be paid in part by a tax increment district - and rent collected from cell phone towers in Kenosha.

"Those towers are all located in city parks. As we approve the cell tower leases, all of that money was specifically directed for park use," said Knight.

The work's expected to take at least seven weeks.

"I think it's just going to be a very emotional day when the playground reopens and we see the smiles on the faces of the children and we hear the sounds of their laughter," said Conforti.