Brookhaven children are one step closer to having new play areas in Murphey Candler Park and Ashford Park.

The City Council July 28 unanimously approved two construction contracts for a natural playground in Murphey Candler and a splash pad and pavilion in Ashford Park. Both projects will take about six months to complete and are set to open in early 2021, city spokesperson Ann Marie Quill said.

The projects are part of the city’s $40 million Park Bond Capital Improvement Program, which was approved in a 2018 referendum vote and includes renovations to all the city’s public parks.

The city approved a contract with Kompan, Inc. for $305,315 to remove the current playground at Murphey Candler and replace it with a natural play area. The playground area is located off of Candler East Lake Drive.

The Murphey Candler Park playground draft plan shows that it will include a rope climbing web, a castle play area, swings and springer rocking animals.

Because of public input about keeping Murphey Candler Park a natural area, Councilmember Linley Jones, whose district includes the park, said the city went with a playground with natural coloring rather than bright, primary colors.

“This particular playground is going to be a wonderful addition in keeping with the stated desires of the community to make sure it was a natural-feeling playground,” Jones said in the meeting. “This is really a creative and cutting-edge sort of playground, and it’s exciting to award this contract.”

The playground, which will be tan with some light blue accents and includes a rope climbing web, a castle play area, swings and springer rocking animals, according to its design plans.

The total budget for Murphey Candler Park improvements is $8.98 million. Other projects in the park include increasing parking, adding a boardwalk and constructing an amphitheater and community center. The city is currently asking for public input about community center amenities.

The city has finished revitalization efforts on Murphey Candler Lake, which included shoreline restoration and dredging and were also budgeted in the park bond.

The city also approved a contract with Integrated Construction and Nobility, Inc. for $849,384 to construct a splash pad and pavilion at Ashford Park at 2980 Redding Road.

An illustration of the splash pad at Ashford Park.

The city has allocated $1.94 million for Ashford Park improvements. Improvements will also include granite seat walls, perimeter fencing, enhanced lighting and other land renovations, according to the project list from the park bond referendum.

Lynwood Park is also slated for a splash pad and a pool, which is set to open in summer 2021, according to the park bond project website.