Rancho Palos Verdes City Council




DATE: September 3, 2002

STAFF COORDINATOR: Don Noble, Deputy Director of Public Works


  1. Authorize the removal and replacement of all existing playground equipment at Ryan Park.
  2. Authorize the Director of Public Works to purchase the new playground equipment, for an amount not to exceed $67,000, through the California CMAS program in accordance with Section 2.44.050 of the City’s Municipal Code.
  3. Award an Engineering Contract to JMC2 Engineering and Management Consultants in the amount $8,000 to prepare Plans and Specifications for the installation of this play equipment.
  4. Authorize the Mayor and City Clerk to execute a contract with JMC2 Engineering and Management Consultants.


In May of 2002, Playground Services Company was retained to audit the playground equipment in each of the City’s five park sites. Based on the outcome of this audit it is apparent that the equipment at Eastview, Hesse and Ladera Linda is in relatively good condition in that only minor repairs are needed. Staff estimates that all repairs will cost less than $20,000. However, the equipment at Abalone Cove and Ryan Park should be replaced. The equipment at Ryan Park is more utilized and is therefore the site of first priority.


Ryan Park has five areas where playground equipment is installed. The equipment includes three structures (a lighthouse, lookout and ship), two swing sets, a small metal arch climber and a fish shaped apparatus with a slide.

These items were manufactured more than thirty years ago. In the interim, there have been numerous changes in safety standards for playground equipment. An audit of the playground recommended that:

  • The playground equipment be removed and replaced. Specifically, the "Lighthouse" structure failed an entrapment test, the first and second deck barriers do not preclude the torso probe, and the slide chute has a gap that creates an entanglement hazard. Likewise, the "Ship" failed the entrapment test multiple times, the ship slide has a gap at the top with an entanglement hazard, and the barriers do not preclude the torso probe. Concerns with the remaining equipment (swings, slides, ladders, climbers and decks/platforms) include swing frames that failed the entrapment tests, antiquated equipment designs that are not complaint with current regulations, equipment fasteners that create obstacle/protrusions, and clamps that exceed or fail acceptable standards.
  • The surface areas beneath and around the playground equipment must be modified to meet both ADA and safety regulations.
  • Signs (i.e. rules & ownership, hard surface warnings, and age appropriate usage,) must be installed at each of the playground areas.

Staff explored a number of options relevant to the replacement of this equipment. Initially, it was hoped that the "ship" and "lighthouse" could be duplicated, as these items are very popular with residents. However, neither item is currently manufactured. Additionally the cost (exclusive of the design and engineering expense) to custom-make an identical ship and lighthouse would be excessive. Furthermore, it is unlikely that any firm would be willing to fabricate these items because of potential liability concerns.

Based on discussions with playground consultants, vendors and visits to other cities, it was determined that each of the existing items should be replaced with similar (including nautical theme items) equipment available through Little Tykes Commercial Play Systems. Therefore, it is recommended that staff be authorized to remove all playground equipment at Ryan Park and replace it with the following items:

  • A ship structure designed for pre-school children (ages 2-5) – Exhibit A
  • A ship structure designed for school children (ages 5-12) – Exhibit B
  • A play unit designed for use by toddlers – Exhibit C
  • 10 swings, 2 spring rides, and a 4 wheeler unit

In addition to safety issues related to play equipment other issues that need to be addressed at Ryan Park include:

  • Repair and/or replacement of the surface material around the play equipment per current ADA requirements.
  • Construction of an access ramp from the lower parking lot to the play equipment per ADA requirements.

In addition to the modification to the playground equipment, and play area safety surface, the fiscal year 2001-2002 Budget includes $66,700 for needed improvements to the upper parking lot at Ryan Park.

Staff estimates the cost of the Ryan Park Improvement Project as follows:

Preliminary Project Cost Estimates

Item Description Estimated Cost
Purchase of new playground equipment by City $67,000
Installation of playground equipment 20,000
Engineering services to prepare plans and specifications for modification of existing play equipment sites, construction of new walkway, installation of new equipment/play surfaces and inclusion of the previously prepared parking lot resurfacing plans and specifications 8,000
Construction of equipment site modifications, new walkway, and play surfaces including installation 42,000
Resurfacing parking lot (includes construction of concrete sidewalk fronting the lot and the correction of existing drainage problem), and repair paved surfaces adjacent to basketball court 85,000
Project inspection services 5,000
Total: $227,000

As purposed, staff plans to purchase the playground equipment through the California Multiple Award Schedule (CMAS) Program. This is a departure from normal procedures in that competitive bids will not be obtained; however, it’s imperative that the length of time required to complete this project be kept to a minimum, as the grant completion deadline is February 2003. The CMAS program, established in May 1994, enables California State Agencies and local government agencies to streamline purchases by removing repetitive; resource intensive, costly and time consuming bid processes. Section 2.44.050 (Use of vendors selected by another agency) of City’s Municipal Code allows the City Manager to purchase services, supplies and equipment for which the city would normally follow its own bid procedures from a vendor awarded a bid by another public agency if said agency utilized procedures substantially the same as those normally utilized by the city. Pursuant to CMAS requirements, Little Tikes Commercial Play Systems has offered product prices from an already existing competitively assessed cost compared multiple award contract. Therefore, it is recommended that the Director of Public Works, acting on behalf of the City Manager, be authorized to purchase the new playground equipment directly through the CMAS program for a cost not exceed $67,000. The City will store the equipment until installation.

While pursuing the purchase of the new playground equipment plans will be prepared for the installation of the equipment as well as modifications to the playground for safety and access issues and for the improvements to the parking lot. When completed a construction contract will be advertised and awarded in accordance with standard bid procedures. The recommended actions include the award of a contract to JMC2 Engineering and Management Consultants, for a cost not to exceed $8,000, to provide the required services.


Adopting the staff recommendations will authorize the purchase of replacement equipment, and the approval of engineering services for plans to install the equipment and to construct other site improvements.


As outlined below, the City’s current budget including yet to be received grant funds for the Ryan Park Improvement Project is $221,700. Based on the estimated construction costs of $227,000, there is an apparent shortfall of $5,300. The actual shortfall amount and a budget amendment resolution will be submitted to Council following the receipt of project bids.

Current Sources of Project Funding


Adopted FY01-02 Budget for Ryan Park Parking Lot Improvements $66,700
Adopted FY01-02 and 02-03 Budgets for park improvements 105,000
California Integrated Waste Management Board Grant 50,000
Total: $221,700

Uses of Funding


Estimated Expenditure

Purchase new playground equipment $67,000
Installation of playground equipment 20,000
Engineering services for preparation of plans and specifications 8,000
Construction of site modifications, new walkway & play surfaces 42,000
Resurfacing parking lot (including other misc tasks) and repairing paved surfaces adjacent to basketball court 85,000
Project inspection services 5,000
Total: $227 ,000

Respectfully submitted,

Dean E. Allison
Director of Public Works


Les Evans
City Manager

School Age Playscape
Preschool Playscape
Play Builder