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Renovating Ladera: LARMAC proceeds with playgrounds and other amenity improvements

Worker with orange vest surveys playground construction

The LARMAC Board of Directors has approved the next phase of playground renovation projects which include the replacement of play structures at eight parks. The playground replacement project has been in the works over the past two years and continues with the replacement of play structures and rubber play surfaces at Arroyo Grande, Boreal, Canterra, Cherry, Celestial, Flintridge, Founders and Oso Grande parks starting in September. 

Each of these parks has reached the end of their ‘useful life,’ a term that is used in LARMAC’s Reserve Study, which assigns an estimated life for every asset, and a funding plan for future repair and/or replacement projects. A portion of the HOA monthly assessments fund the reserves projects, which helps to keep LARMAC’s amenities in good condition. The equipment at each of these original parks was showing signs of wear, and maintenance costs were starting to increase.

Although the physical portion of the project has yet to commence, a great deal of research and planning work has been done by LARMAC staff, the Facilities Committee and residents. Feedback received included the desire to incorporate inclusive elements of play for children with varying abilities. Founders and Celestial parks will feature inclusive playground equipment and ramps that are integrated into the play structures. Each of the new play structures are designed for children ages 5 to 12; Oso Grande Park will also have play equipment for children ages 2 to 5 years old.

LARMAC received over 105 playground designs by seven vendors that provided proposals. In order to maximize value, all eight locations were bundled together in one project. According to Chase Fitzpatrick, LARMAC President, “By grouping the eight locations into one project, LARMAC can take advantage of the economies of scale and reduced costs due to the mobilization of material and equipment. The installation and maintenance of the playgrounds will be easier to manage having one vendor for the installation and the ordering of replacement parts.”

By approving all locations at once, LARMAC saved approximately 40%. Great Western Recreation and GameTime (equipment manufacturer) were selected to partner with LARMAC on the project. GameTime has been a leader in the play industry since 1929 and has significantly invested in the research and enrichment of childhood play. KJ LeCesne, Playologist at Great Western Recreation said, “We’ve applied this research to these new play spaces and have carefully designed these parks to promote exploration, imagination, multigenerational play, inclusion and youth physical fitness. We’re excited for your families to experience your new playgrounds.” In an effort to recycle, reuse and support a good cause, LARMAC has partnered with Kids Around The World (KATW) to refurbish seven of the eight existing playgrounds. The donated equipment will be removed by KATW at their expense which will save the community $70,000 on the demolition and disposal of the existing play structures.

KATW refurbishes and installs playground equipment in underserved communities. KATW has partnered with a job training program in Mexico which consists of welding and other trades. After a few months of the playgrounds being installed, KATW will share photos and the impact the playgrounds are having in the communities they are placed. To learn about KATW, visit

Terramor Aquatic Park

Ladera’s water park is 16 years old and includes all original structural equipment and components. Annual maintenance has helped to extend the life of the structure; however, it is showing signs of its age and is need of an update. Many of the water features will be updated in the offseason along with additional maintenance with hopes of extending the life of the structure a few more years before a full replacement will be needed.

Covenant Hills Clubhouse

Design plans to improve and enhance the outdoor patio and grass area at the Covenant Hills Village Clubhouse are currently being reviewed and considered. The Covenant Hills Clubhouse is one of the most popular among residents who rent the space for weddings, bridal showers and receptions. The initial improvement plans have been designed with these types of events in mind.

Oak Knoll Clubhouse

Ladera’s original clubhouse continues to receive updates as part of a phased approach to updating and refreshing the clubhouse. To-date, the exterior and interior have been repainted and the flooring in the great room has been replaced. The next phase will focus on remodeling of the great room and entry area.

These projects are expected to initiate late this year and into 2022. Check LaderaLife for project updates. If you are not receiving the Ladera Happenings weekly email, go to ‘My Profile’ found in the upper right-hand corner of LaderaLife to opt in to receiving email notifications.