Sometime in the next year expect to see the Castle Playground demolished in order for RIOC to build a new playground. According to RIOC they are working with the Gametime to design a new playground.
My understanding is that the deal RIOC is hoping to close will include new Astroturf for the Octagon Soccer field. According to a few residents I spoke with by having Astroturf it would allow RIOC to try to rent out the field on a higher level to various group leagues and schools.
I have not heard yet if the final design of the soon to be former Castle Playground has been decided. I do know that the current sandbox design was slated for removal which is a relief. While it did provide a large digging area you never knew what your kids would find buried. Sanitary it was not by any means.
It is my understanding that the water feature currently enjoyed by our children will be removed which in my opinion is a shame. Like many parents we always knew the cement was something we had to watch our kids around but the water made for a great wading pool for toddlers. When I hear more about the final design I will post it here.
I was informed this morning by Donna Masly from RIOC Program Services that both "spraygrounds" the one pictured above (between the Castle and the water) and the one between the basketball courts and the Riverwalk playground (behind Blackwell House) will NOT be removed. In fact during Phase 2 of the playground renovation each will be improved. Very very cool. Thanks Donna!