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.