New, Improved Playground Now Open

Now+recently+opened%2C+the+Mauka+playground+is+accessible+and+safe+to+be+play+on.This+renewed+playground+can+be+enjoyed+by+families%2C+friends%2C+and+children.+

Carlos Prado

Now recently opened, the Mauka playground is accessible and safe to be play on.This renewed playground can be enjoyed by families, friends, and children.

Jasmine Casana

Two years ago a vision of a new and improved playground where children could enjoy themselves came to the mind of Board of Directors President Emeritus Will Kane. Construction began as of July 2017 in pursuit of that vision, and now it has been fulfilled in the form of the park on Kuauli street in Mauka.

“The first discussions about expanding this playground began over two years ago,” said  the General Manager for the Board of Directors at the Mililani Town Association (MTA) David O’Neal. “The actual construction began July 31.”

 After noticing the popularity of the old playground, Kane sought to gain support in his plans to improve the playground. He hoped to make it as appealing to the members of the community as possible. “This project was inspired by Will Kane, a Kuauli resident, who observed the high usage of the original tot-lot and recommended an expansion,” said O’Neal. “The project began with the Mililani Town Association Board approving it.”

Having gone to the older playground on multiple occasions with his daughter, Kane strived to create a happy environment for the families who use the park. “I live nearby and used the playground extensively,” said Kane. “Additionally, it is heavily used by families throughout the community, so I knew this would be a great investment in our community.”

The Town Association board members not only worked together towards creating a nice, safe environment for community members’ children to play, but also hoped to create a comfortable environment for the parents as well. “Also, the new playground has four benches with shade for parents to sit on while the kids are playing,” said O’Neal.

While the playground was being built, the board kept the joy of the children in the front of their minds. “I look forward to seeing the kids have a blast when playing on it,” said O’Neal. “It improves our community and adds to our amenities. These types of projects are very rewarding.”

As the new playground was being constructed, a number of problems had arisen. “Some of the struggles we faced on this project were delays due to rainy weather, which is even now delaying the opening slightly,” said O’Neal. “The contractor also had some very expensive tools stolen from the site during construction.”

As the board members worked out the small imperfections in their project plans, they focused on overcoming issues involving their budget. “There is always a balance between what you want or need as an organization, versus what you can afford,” said Kane. “The MTA had made good use of our members’ dues, and we think the benefits outweigh the costs. It’s part of striking the right balance.”

O’Neal and other MTA employees stayed busy during the months of construction. “As the general manager, my job is to send out a Request for Proposals (RFP) and gather bids from contractors,” said O’Neal. “Once the contractor is selected, I ensure the work progresses timely, answer any questions, and then inspect and accept the work. Then the MTA maintain the playground to keep it nice.”

As the park was being built, the board members were able to receive a large amount of help from the community. “I also want to thank the management and staff at MTA for doing the hard work in finding the right playground equipment within the framework of our budget,” said Kane.

During these past few years, the board of Mililani Town Association were highly motivated by the many contributions produced by the general public towards the effort. “The whole Mililani community contributed to this project,” said Kane. “Through paying dues, giving us feedback on what they want and trusting us to make the right decision.”

Each member made their own contribution to the project. “As a board member, we as a board, approved the funding for a replacement and expansion of the current playground equipment,” said Kane.

After two years in the making, the new playground will finally be able to put to use. “That a whole new set of children will be able to laugh, play and enjoy the best parts of being a kid,” said Kane.

The new playground on Kuauli Street in Mauka was opened to the community recently and children are now free to play on it.

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