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Playground renovation project to be finished this year: Emanuel

Aspen Playlot Park, one of 88 Chicago playgrounds slated to be refurbished this year. | Chicago Park District

A city program to overhaul 327 playgrounds across Chicago will be complete by the end of this year, one year ahead of schedule, Mayor Rahm Emanuel said Sunday.

“Improvements like these bring communities together and build lasting memories. We are investing to create a quality of life for children and families in all Chicago neighborhoods that is unmatched,” Emanuel said in a Sunday news release.

He cut the ribbon Sunday at West Haven Park, 1919 W. Maypole Ave., one of the final 88 slated for revamping this year.

In March 2013, Emanuel announced his “Chicago Plays!” plan to overhaul the play areas by the end of 2017, and 239 of them were done by the end of 2015.

On average, new playground equipment for each park — which has included zip lines, omni spinners and challenge climbs — costs $125,000, for a total program cost of $42 million. The renovations were designed by community request, the mayor’s office said.

The program “was established to provide vibrant, accessible playgrounds to children across the city,” park district Supt. Michael Kelly said in the release. It’s part of Emanuel’s “Building on Burnham” parks investment plan to put every city resident within a 10-minute walk of a park.