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Courtney's SandCastle Seeks City Funds

The foundation that supports the all-access playground has $230,000, but needs to fill the gap to finish the all-access playground.

The Courtney's SandCastle Foundation is seeking $100,000 in matching money from the city to complete the second phase of its all-access playground at the Vista Hermosa Sports Park.

The foundation has raised $230,000 to date and plans to raise $120,000 more in an aggressive push over the next six months, according to a city staff report. The item comes up for consideration by San Clemente City Council Tuesday.

The playground is designed to allow children with any manner of disability to play alongside their able-bodied peers. The facility -- the first half of which is now open at the park -- was the brainchild of Courtney Faye Smith, now a student at San Clemente High School.

Inital bids for Phase II were rejected, coming in at $460,000 to over $1 million. The foundation has scrapped some planned features to bring the cost down.

Phase I of the project was paid for by the city and rolled into the construction of the new Vista Hermosa Sports Park. That phase added play structures, including a giant outdoor xylophone and a sandbox.

Phase II will include water attractions and a “sensory garden,” a fountain composed of a large granite ball with water flowing over it that children can touch, and a fountain with different buttons and switches that activate various patterns of spray. The fountain and shade structure are scrapped in the current iteration of plans before council in order to bring the cost to $450,000.

Also planned is an artificial tide pool under a large shade structure will house replica tide pool flora and fauna. Kids will be able to hit switches that will control the water levels. SandCastle Foundation officials assert this is an extremely important feature that should be installed because it is particularly enriching for children with developmental disabilities.

San Clemente City Council meets at 6 p.m. Tuesday in Council Chambers, 100 Ave. Presidio.

Donald Glasgow October 15, 2012 at 08:59 PM
Thanks Adam!
george gregory October 16, 2012 at 06:07 PM
with our whole community needing ada upgrades and Courtney castles past substitutions and continued maintenance . I believe stage two can wait , the short time for private funds to complete the project I myself bought 12 pairs of sandals for my pet centipede to help fund this descent endeavor as the world around you expands Courtney you may notice how many people are in need of just every day upgrades of access ability . a good place to start is the beach with its never ending changes of wind ,waves , sounds and textures and yes tide pools council please shelve this for 6 months
Diana Horal October 17, 2012 at 08:07 PM
I would have to agree (gg). My grandson has extreme Cerebral Palsy and were very excited to enjoy the Courtney Castles park. Our family contributes and actively encourage others to as well. When we do visit, we have to wait for the adaptive swing to be free (its already broken) and there ample shade near tables but not over play area for the kids (most medications taken are sun sensitive). Don't get me wrong, I still love Miss Smiths idea and love that we can take him out to play and see other kids play without being stared at. We are a family of surfers and sea lovers and would love just to be able to take him down to the beach. Many may not realize this but here in San Clemente we have limited wheelchair access to the beach. Think about it. Every beach stop has some form of stairs or steep terrain. The pier has sand friendly wheelchairs but Josh can't sit up at all so we have to use his wheelchair (that cost thousands) on to the sand (not recommended) and transfer him to the sand under our umbrella. He is 13 and loves the beach but its so hard to get him there.
Allison Winters October 17, 2012 at 09:43 PM
Bob Bakerʼs Top 10 “No” votes. 1. No to continuing the Sunday Morning Farmers Market on Del Mar. 2. No to the San Clemente Sports Hall of Fame which is nothing more than pictures on the wall of the Vista Hermosa Aquatic Parks of outstanding SCHS athletes. Bob Baker#1 was the sole dissenting vote 3. No bathrooms for handicapped kids at Courtneyʼs Sand Castle. He said they can go down the street. 4. No to building sidewalks at Max Berg Park near the Las Palmas Elementary School. 5. No to protecting our coastal canyons by dividing a critical coastal canyon lot and opening up SC to splitting lots on all our costal canyons. 6. No to provide parking in North Beach in support of parking needs for commuters and to provide parking so our the nearby historical buildings can be revitalized. 7. No to banning smoking in public parks where kids play. 8. No to banning single use plastic bags. 9. No to local art project by painting electrical boxes. 10. Cost the City of San Clemente $1000ʼs as part of ethics investigation for leaking confidential information from a closed session of the city council. There are many more no votes but this is a one page flyer. Please check for yourself what makes Bob Baker #1 the worst council member in the history of San Clemente. Thank you for voting for anyone but Bob Baker#1 Sincerely, Allison Winters, Mom and 15 year SC resident.
Allison Winters October 17, 2012 at 09:45 PM
Yes, but you also agree with all of Bob Baker Decisions, always horrible for our city and kids. Bob Bakerʼs Top 10 “No” votes. 1. No to continuing the Sunday Morning Farmers Market on Del Mar. 2. No to the San Clemente Sports Hall of Fame which is nothing more than pictures on the wall of the Vista Hermosa Aquatic Parks of outstanding SCHS athletes. Bob Baker#1 was the sole dissenting vote 3. No bathrooms for handicapped kids at Courtneyʼs Sand Castle. He said they can go down the street. 4. No to building sidewalks at Max Berg Park near the Las Palmas Elementary School. 5. No to protecting our coastal canyons by dividing a critical coastal canyon lot and opening up SC to splitting lots on all our costal canyons. 6. No to provide parking in North Beach in support of parking needs for commuters and to provide parking so our the nearby historical buildings can be revitalized. 7. No to banning smoking in public parks where kids play. 8. No to banning single use plastic bags. 9. No to local art project by painting electrical boxes. 10. Cost the City of San Clemente $1000ʼs as part of ethics investigation for leaking confidential information from a closed session of the city council. There are many more no votes but this is a one page flyer. Please check for yourself what makes Bob Baker #1 the worst council member in the history of San Clemente. Thank you for voting for anyone but Bob Baker#1 Sincerely, Allison Winters, Mom and 15 year SC resident.

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