Priority:Play – FAQ

Priority:Play – FAQ

Priority Play Timeline for web

Is any of the current play structure staying?

Yes! The dining and music pavilions along with the iconic Erector set will all remain. The Erector set will be expanded to include exhibit space within the interior spaces of the structure to allow for expanded play.

The current play structure was a large community build project. Will this be another community build opportunity?

We appreciate everything that the community did in coming together to build A.C. Gilbert's Backyard over 25 years ago.  Since that time, not only have things changed in what we know about accessibility and providing hands-on opportunities for play, safety around licensing of playgrounds has also changed. It is for these reasons that we will not be making this a community build project.

 

boy in yellow coat banner

Who is doing the project design?

The project is being designed by the landscape architecture team at Learning Landscapes. This Oregon company specializes in adaptive and sensory play experiences. Their experiences in designing play based learning with natural elements encourages children and adults to broaden their imaginations as they come together to play.

What is accessible play?

An accessible playground allows kids with or without disabilities to access and experience play using a variety of playground equipment. It also invites parents, caregivers or older siblings with disabilities into the play area to supervise children or take part in the fun. All kids should be able to travel freely on smooth pathways and ramps, use grab bars with ease and be able to move from one piece of equipment to the next safely.

Who is building the play structure?

Gilbert House Children's Museum partnered with locally owned Dalke Construction in the first phase of this project (Bill's Bubble Factory and the improvements to the courtyard entryway), and will continue to work with Dalke in this second phase of construction. Dalke Construction has a rich history in this community and with projects in Riverfront Park and they are a natural partner to bring this new outdoor play space to life.

Why now?

We broke ground on Phase 1 of this project just before the pandemic shut things down. With the resources we had committed to the project at the time, we were able to complete the first phase during our closure time.  As the pandemic left such uncertainty and shifted priorities, we decided not to move ahead with the project until after we were able to reopen. We are beginning our fundraising now for a September 2022 groundbreaking to allow children another summer of Gilbert House fun before the outdoor exhibit closes for construction. Construction will take place during the Winter months allowing us to welcome kids back to play on the new play structure in Spring 2023.

How may I become involved?

We are excited to be able to bring seven new exhibits to Gilbert House's Outdoor Discovery Area. The biggest way you can become involved right now is through your financial support of the project and sharing our excitement throughout the community.