John E. Murphy Playground

Murphy Playground

Project Description

John E. Murphy Playground is bowl shaped with a noticeable grade change, retaining walls on three sides and a sloped grass surface. There are entry points located on two sides off of Bowker and Brook Street. Park recreational facilities include basketball key, 2-5 year old play area, 5-12 year old play area and spray pool. The park was originally the Brook Street lot, the Town bought this site in 1915 from Harriet A. Howe & Percival S. Howe. In 1971, it was named after John E. Murphy, a former Park and Recreation Commissioner. The playground changed substantially in 1971 when tot play equipment, a basketball hoop and swings were added. In 1993, it was rebuilt under the Town mandated design review process using Community Development Block Grant funds. In 1998, the drainage problem in the play area was corrected by the Water and Parks Divisions of the DPW. 

Construction Updates

October 13, 2023

Work is continuing on the installation of the playground safety surfacing and play equipment. They are also installing the new fence at the abutters edge of the park and new gates. The contractor will then move onto paving the pathways within the park as well as running and testing then winterizing the new splash pad. The last piece of work will be the seeding of all the lawn areas and installation of all the new trees and shrubs. After work is completed a playground inspector will perform test on the playground surfacing and inspect the equipment before the park can be opened back up to the public.

September 8, 2023

Murphy Park Splash Pad Installation of Fixtures

Caption: Image of installed splash pad features.

The play equipment has arrived on-site and is in the process of being installed by the contractor. In order to expedite the installation of the play equipment the contractor will be working this weekend 9/8/2023 and 9/9/2023. Working hours this Saturday and Sunday will only occur between the hours of 8:30 AM to 7:30 PM. Additional work completed within the last two weeks includes the installation of the spray pad fixtures and associated water control cabinet. In addition to the play equipment installation the contractor, R. Bates is scheduled to work on pouring the concrete pad for the splash pad area. Park construction is currently on schedule and the park should be complete by early November.

July 28, 2023

Murphy Park poured concrete site walls

Caption: New site walls for the future splash pad.

Within the past few weeks the contractor, R. Bates, has completed all demolition and drainage work. They have also started to pour the concrete site walls and are continuing to work on site grading. The fencing subcontractor has installed the fence posts for the new perimeter fence on the western edge of the park where it abuts the residential buildings. Over the next couple of weeks the contractor will continue to install site walls and finish rough grading for the site. The play equipment is scheduled to arrive by the end of August at which point the contractor will work on installing the new play equipment.

July 6, 2023

Preparing the subgrade for the installation of infiltration chambers

Caption: Preparing the subgrade for the installation of infiltration chambers.

The contractor mobilized the last week of June and completed demolition of the park. Items removed include all of the old play equipment, selected trees, fencing and the invasive wisteria along the western end of the park. The contractor is now working on installing all of the drainage improvements for the renovated park, this work will be ongoing for the next couple of weeks. Upon the completion of the drainage work the contractor will begin to install new site walls and bring up the grade of the park so that it is closer to the level of the surrounding roads.

April 2023

A contractor, R. Bates and Sons Inc., has been chosen for the project. We held our preconstruction meeting with the contractor in late March and are in the process of approving and ordering materials for the project, including the new play structures. Work on site is scheduled to commence either in late June or early July. The contractor will start work with tree removals and demolition of the existing play equipment and pavement at that time. The park will remain open to the public until the contractor is ready to begin demolition.

February 2021

The Park and Recreation Commission Meeting was held on February 9th, 2021. The preferred concept plan for Murphy Playground was presented and the committee voted unanimously to approve the plan. The next step will be developing a set of construction documents and specifications for the project. This work will be done by the staff within the Parks and Engineering divisions. Thank you to everyone that was involved in the Design Review Committee meeting process. We are looking forward to the renovation of John E. Murphy Playground!

January 2021

We had a great meeting on Wednesday January 20th, 2021. At that meeting the committee voted to move forward with a preferred concept. This concept will have a loop pathway around the 5-12 year old play space, a basketball key, a separate play space for ages 2-5 that will be fenced in, a water play area with seating and a central lawn area. The grade at the 5-12 year old play space will be raised to improve site drainage and create full accessible pathways throughout the park. The committee also voted to move forward with playground concepts for both ages 2-5 and 5-12. The next step is presenting the preferred plan and playground concepts to the full Park and Recreation Commission in February.

Winter 2020/2021

We had a great meeting in the fall and received lots of good input from the community. During the winter we have continued working on the preferred design to get ready for the next public remote meeting. That meeting will take place on Wednesday January 20th, 2021 from 6-8pm. Please see the Town Calendar to register, we hope to see you there.

Fall 2020

During August we had two on site meetings at Murphy playground and conducted a neighborhood survey. We received a lot of great comments and ideas from both the meetings and on the neighborhood survey. In early October we had our 3rd design review committee meeting. At that meeting we presented three revised concept plans based on the neighborhood and committee members input. There were also four different playground concepts presented. The next step is revising the preferred plan based on all the input received during the meeting for another public design review committee meeting this winter. Date to be announced. 

Summer 2020

We are working on revising the design concepts for our next virtual public meeting in the fall and are looking for more opportunities to gather input from users and community members of the park. We would like to invite you to join us for one of our on-site meetings in August. Meetings will take place:

  • Saturday, August 15th 10:00am – 12:00pm
  • Tuesday, August 22nd 2:30pm – 4:30pm

Please join us at Murphy Playground on either date listed above to discuss the renovation of the park and share your ideas with the project Landscape Architect! We will be set-up on the open lawn space. 

Improvements to Murphy Playground will include:

  • Universal access within the park;
  • Treatment of the park’s perimeter and entries to address issues of accessibility;
  • Redesign of the playground spaces and water play, including play equipment for all ages and resilient safety surfacing;
  • Site furniture and destinations for seating and picnicking throughout the park;
  • New plantings;
  • Discussion of hardcourt play space;
  • Renovation of open lawn; and,
  • Grading work and drainage enhancements to direct runoff appropriately

At these on-site meetings, we will share the design concepts that were presented at our last virtual public meeting. We would love to hear your thoughts so that we may revise the proposed designs to best meet the needs of the community and all park users.

Come enjoy some time in the park and share your ideas with us!

Spring 2020

We have held two Design Review Committee Meetings to date, the most recent occurring on June 3, 2020. At that meeting, five different design concepts for the park were shared. Members of the neighborhood and committee provided the Town with some great feedback on the different concepts and proposed improvements. Over the summer the design team will work on revising and refining the concepts for the next design review meeting which will take place in October.