Tulsa’s Gathering Place Playgrounds Construction Underway

Wednesday, September 7th 2016, 8:05 pm
By: Emory Bryan

Some of the groundwork has begun for the largest playsets at Tulsa’s Gathering Place – along with the small places designed to spur children’s imaginations.

Construction is underway on the maze of mirrors as well as the resting spot for the River Giants.

While heavy earthwork dominates the Gathering Place, there's a quieter spot on the east side under trees where the playgrounds are taking shape.

Workers are building pathways and pouring foundations for playsets scattered over five acres inside the Chapman Adventure Playground.

"So this is the entrance to the ramble, the sensory Garden - we've got our curbing already put up,” said Jeff Stava, Gathering Place Project Manager, of a constructed pathway.

The pathway leads to 32 concrete pillars that will hold 16 mirrors arranged in a maze.

"Six to 7-foot-tall mirrors,” Stava said. “A lot like you would see at the fair, a circus. Wavy mirrors, contorted mirrors, so the kids can run in between them and play."

The mirror maze will be underneath landscaped arches, near bridges over and under the trails.

"The River Giants are going to be over here on the left, behind that large tree," Stava said.

The River Giants is made of wooden playsets inspired by wildlife of the Arkansas River. They include a 42-foot paddlefish, tall enough for children to stand inside, sturdy enough so they can climb all over it.

The giants will also include 28-foot-tall Blue Herons alongside the paddlefish.

The giants will have staircases inside and walkways between them.

"They look like they're standing in water, the play surface is blue and they look, they're large, kids can crawl inside,” Stava said.

The Herons and the Paddlefish are the major pieces of the River Giants section – but that's in the middle of much more to come.