Phase II of Courtney's SandCastle all-access playground at the Vista Hermosa Sports Park is a go.
The local nonprofit set up to support the playground, which opened in February of 2012, is set to hand over the $340,000 it has raised to the city at the San Clemente City Council meeting Tuesday.
Coupled with the $110,000 in matching money promised by the city, the Courtney's SandCastle Charitable Foundation has met the funding goal to finish the project, according to the city staff report.
The playground is designed to be accessible for kids of all abilties; it's wheelchair accessible and features tactile and auditory elements that can be enjoyed by blind or autistic children.
This final phase includes a sensory garden, which will utilize plants, water and other items to help stimulate the senses of those utilizing it. The sensory garden has significant benefits to children diagnosed on the autism spectrum, according to Mina Santoro, chairwoman of the foundation board.
These new features, estimated to cost $450,000, will include a sensory garden, two water features, and musical sound boards.
Once the city council accepts the money and budgets it for the playground, staff will move forward with taking bids on the project, according to the staff report.
The project was initiated by local girl Courtney Faye Smith and her family, who is now a student at San Clemente High School. The idea was born because the family had to travel miles from their San Clemente home to find a playground accessible to their disabled daughter when she was a little girl.