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Southwest Wichita park closed after vandal sets fire to playground equipment

A southwest Wichita park playground is closed off after someone set it on fire over Labor Day weekend.

The City of Wichita Park and Recreation Department posted photos showing a melted slide and charred floor framing at the Southview Park playground.

The arson damage was done sometime Monday afternoon, the city said in a Facebook post.

The floor framing on the playground equipment was also damaged after someone set fire to it.
The floor framing on the playground equipment was also damaged after someone set fire to it.

“The cost of damage is exceeding $20,000,” the post said.

The playground will remain closed to the public for the foreseeable future as the park maintenance team removes the damaged playground equipment, the city said.

City workers were power washing the playground structure to remove soot and evaluate the extent of the damage, Wichita city spokesperson Megan Lovely said in an email Wednesday.

The cost estimate for damage includes $10,000 to $12,000 for parts, $6,000 to $8,000 for demo and installation and $2,500 for engineered wood fiber safety surfacing, according to Lovely.

Parts that probably will be replaced include a double swoosh poly slide, corkscrew climber with enclosures, a vertical ladder, 64-inch hex deck, 24-inch triangle deck and a 140-inch post.

“While our pools and rec centers have cameras, our playgrounds are not camera monitored,” Lovely said.

Southview Park is at 2215 W 45th St. S. and was established in 1981. The park has a playground, six soccer fields and two tennis courts.

Anyone with information regarding the damage is encouraged to call Crime Stoppers at 316-267-2111. Tips can also be submitted online to stopcrime.com