Harry Downes Playground and Field

Project Description

Harry Downes field is located between Jamaica Road, Highland Road and Pond Ave. The park contains a synthetic field, track, playground and a natural turf playing field as well as a number of large mature trees. The park was last renovated in 2006 and is in need of upgrades. Renovations will improve player and user safety, accessibility and multi-generational accommodations. New play equipment, benches, walkways, planting, and other site amenities will be included with this renovation.

Project Updates

June 13, 2020

The playground at Harry Downes is official open today! We thank everyone for their patience’s with the construction process and hope everyone enjoys the playground.

Spring 2020 

Construction has started again on the site. The contractor has completed the repairs to the playground and is now working on the process of obtaining the proper documents and certifications. The water play area is also in the process of being repaired and that work is excepted to be completed this spring. Work on the natural field has continued with the completion of the clay infield. The field will be re-seeded this spring to ensure a healthy stand of grass, the field as planned will remained closed for the summer. We thank the community for their support and continued patience’s with the construction process.

Winter 2019/ 2020

We are pleased to report that, as anticipated, the obstacle course opened to the public in late fall, and has been well-used and enjoyed by the community.

Although the playground was also projected to open in the fall, unforeseen circumstances have prevented us from meeting that timeline. The construction of the playground, including the installation of the poured in place safety surfacing and remaining water play elements, was completed by the project’s contractor in fall, 2019. During the subsequent safety inspection of the playground, several issues were detected with the poured in place safety surfacing and one of the exits from the slides. We have been working tirelessly with the contractor and manufacturer to identify a comprehensive solution to address these concerns. Unfortunately, the elements that need repair are weather dependent and cannot be completed while temperatures are near or below freezing. In the spring, the contractor will return to reinstall parts of the poured in place safety surfacing and address the slide exit. The solutions may involve significant impact to the playground area with potential re-installation of elements subsequent to Town approval.  We are deeply disappointed in this delay and sincerely apologize for any disruptions or inconveniences this new schedule may cause. We are committed to providing a safe and accessible playground, and hope to resolve this issue as soon as is possible.

The natural field, as projected, will remain closed for spring and most of summer, 2020 to allow the grass time to grow.  The contractor, Heimlich Landscaping and Construction Company, will re-mobilize starting as early as the first week of April to finish the work on the field and address the playground issues.

Fall 2019

Harry Downes track and synthetic field are now open to the public. The contractor is continuing work on the natural field which is being graded this week. That work will be followed by spreading new topsoil and then seeding the field. The playground installers will return this week to finish up the water play area and add final touches to the play equipment. Next week the safety surfacing will be installed around all the equipment. The contractor is continuing work on the rest of the site spreading loam, planting and seeding all the lawn areas. We are looking forward to the completion of the project!

June/July 2019

Construction is in full swing now at Harry Downes Field. The contractors are installing the turf field and will start adding the new infill over the next week. Playground installation has started and will be followed by the obstacle course over the next few weeks. On the natural field side the irrigation work is almost completed, the crews are excavating for the new walkways and sub-grading work has been completed for the field. Over the next few weeks work will start on the new water play area in the playground and track repairs will begin in early August. We are excited for the renovation of this park and all the work completed to date.

April/May 2019

Construction is underway at Harry Downes, we are excited to start work on the renovation. As you may have seen there is construction fencing and silt fencing up around the playground, all the play equipment has been removed and sub grading work has been completed in the playground area. The crew have also brought in a water service connection to create the new water play area. The contractor will continue the playground work over the next few weeks. They will then start work on the fields the first week in June as well as continue working on the playground. 

February/March 2019

The public design review process began in June 2017 and was completed in the spring of 2018.  The goals were to maintain the park’s character, provide universal access within the park, improve the connection between the two sides of the park, update playground equipment (including water play), replace the irrigation system and improve user safety on the playing fields. The project construction documents were completed at the end of 2018 for bidding in early 2019. Construction is due to start in early spring.