Hundreds turned out Tuesday at McKinley Park in East Sacramento to re-build the children's playground that was torched by an arsonist last July.
The city has relied on donations and an army of 2,000 volunteers to build the new structure.
You really can get involved and get something done, said Councilman Steve Cohn, whose district includes McKinley Park. It takes a village.
City officials expect the new playground to be better than the old one. Instead of wood, crews are using a composite material that is more fire resistant.
This will be significantly less to maintain, said Dennis Day with the citys Parks and Recreation Department. It doesnt need to be painted over or sanded.
The effort to rebuild the playground was spearheaded by the community and facilitated by Cohns office.
According to the city, the new playground is valued at $1.5 million. The amount includes in-kind donations of materials totaling $200,000, volunteer labor valued at $400,000 and $200,000 raised from the public. The city spent roughly $690,000 on the project, with half of that coming from the insurance payout after the fire.
Volunteers, including students, city staffers and local business owners, got their hands dirty, toiling underneath the hot sun in four-hour shifts. Some poured concrete, while others shoveled dirt.
The children, they didn't understand what happened, said Adriana Vasquez, 19, who spent the morning leveling dirt.
The design of the new playground aims to capture the history of Sacramento. A rendering shows the structure patterned on a trolley car, steam engine and a paddle-wheel steamship. The entry arch evokes the former Alhambra Theatre.
This is not a cookie-cutter design, said Dave Iannello, one of the owners of Ithaca, N.Y.-based Play by Design, the company hired to lead construction.
The playground will officially open to the public June 27.