For over 30 years the Castle Playground (also known as the “Big Toy”) has enriched the lives of Wickliffe students and staff and has been a welcoming destination for all Upper Arlington residents and visitors. It was created through a partnership of school, community, city, and corporate supporters in 1989-1990. While it has been well-maintained over the years, it has lasted far longer than the typical 15 to 20-year lifespan for playground equipment and now has begun to deteriorate with age. The structure remains safe for the time being, but it is time to replace it with a new structure that will support current and future generations.
Over the past year, the Wickliffe community has engaged in a collaborative process to develop a vision for the outdoor play and learning spaces at our school, including reimagining the space where the Castle Playground now stands. With a design in hand that will further enhance the lives of our students and educators, add value to our community and be a place of accessibility and enrichment for all visitors, we’d like to introduce you to “Wickliffe Woods”.
Wickliffe Woods will be a dynamic, multi-faceted play and learning space with focus on accessibility and the whole child. Project development will be phased as follows with funding necessary prior to start.
Wickliffe Woods Playground Project Phases
- Phase 1a: Create loose parts & fort play space (Fall 2023)
- Phase 1b & 1c: Enhance boulder area with accessible swinging (Winter 2023) and install spinning structures (Spring 2024)
- Phase 2: Build new marquee structure/play space
- Phase 3: A farewell to the existing Castle structure and convert the space to a sports field/grassy play area
- Phase 4: Create outdoor classroom space and expand the Octopus Garden (3-5 years in the future)
Fundraising and project development have commenced for Phase 1 with the aspirational goal of being operational in Fall 2023.