Dunwoody Park playground renderings. Photo from Dunwoody City website
Dunwoody Park playground renderings. Photo from Dunwoody City website

The Dunwoody City Council voted unanimously to award a $225,000 contract to Hasley Recreation Incorporated for design and installation of a playground in Dunwoody Park.

The existing playground structures have reached their lifespan and are in need of replacement. Firms were asked to provide a design to include playground amenities for the 2-5 year old age group and the 5-12 year old age group that fits the natural theme of Dunwoody Park and Nature Center.

Of the nine proposals, Parks and Recreation Manager Brent Walker said two companies scored within two points of each other.

Several of the companies “got our concept; several did not,” Walker said.

Kompan proposed a similar concept for Dunwoody Park, which was reviewed by a team composed of Walker, Michael Smith, the public works capital projects manager, and Alan Mothner, the Dunwoody Nature Center director.

Michael Medley, a regional sales manager for Kompan who has lived in Dunwoody since 2004, said he wanted a chance to give a presentation to the Nature Center director because the proposals were so close in points.

“I don’t think a picture tells the story,” he said. “I would love the opportunity to present all about Kompan and how we’re much better for the children. We do a lot of research on how children play, and age appropriate play.”

Hasley’s proposal included a play structure with a central tower at no additional cost. The concept was the factor that made the difference, Walker said.

“I know both products,” Walker said. “They’re both quality. Hasley’s was just a little bit better.”

Mothner was included in the decision making process because the Nature Center summer camp programs will make use of the playground.

Mayor Mike Davis said that in the future, when a “differential of less than one percent” exists between companies competing for a contract, those companies should be brought back in for discussion.

“I would like to see the rules changed a little bit when you have something within a percent or two,” Davis said, adding that he’d like to know a conversation between the finalists took place.

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