September 20, 2021
A Proud History of Community
Nearly 20 years ago, a group of engaged community members came together to stage and execute a magnificent project for Lubbock and the surrounding communities: an imaginative and challenging play space that would inspire local children and encourage their creative spirits. Known as the “castle playground,” Legacy Play Village was funded and built by and for the community. Upon completion, it was the largest community-built playground in the United States. More than 15,000 volunteers participated in bringing this remarkable destination play place to fruition.
Covering 30,000 square feet, Legacy Play Village included castles and forts, storefronts and swings, a mini-theater, and many other structures and features that provided creative play options for everyone, from toddlers to teenagers. Many children had their birthday parties at the Legacy Play Village, and many school groups held their end-of-year field trips at the facility. It would be challenging to meet any long-term resident of Lubbock who has not visited the Legacy Play Village at some point in the past 17 years. Many people helped build the playground in 2002 and came back to it years later with their own children or grandchildren.
An Inclusive, Sustainable Future
Over the years since completion, wear and tear have taken their toll on Legacy Play Village.
The board of directors of the Friends of Legacy Play Village consulted with experts and, with great forethought, envisioned a new legacy, a “next generation” play village. A steering committee was formed to explore a new, inclusive, and sustainable future for the site.
Many changes have taken place since the original playground was constructed, both in playground design theory and in the area surrounding Bill McAlister Park where Legacy Play Village is located. Additionally, we learned many things during and after the construction of the original playground that we’d like to apply now. Armed with this collective knowledge, the steering committee envisioned and designed a wonderful new playground, a new legacy for generations to come.
The redesigned Legacy Play Village will be quite different from the original. A poured-in-place rubber solid surface will make the playground more accessible to children with special needs. A lower and more open profile provides parents and caregivers with a clearer line of sight across and through the playground. An open site concept will make the playground more visible from the exterior, discouraging unfettered vandalism. Specially designed equipment will ensure that inclusive play options are available, allowing everyone to play together. Enhanced seating options allow for comfortable, close supervision of little patrons. An elder play area has been incorporated. A water feature will provide a new and engaging experience. Strategically placed sail shades will enhance comfort for everyone.
The new Legacy Play Village has truly been designed with ALL in mind!