Massive Playground Design To Help Imaginations Soar At Tulsa's 'Gathering Place'

Thursday, March 3rd 2016, 8:18 pm

Tulsa's Gathering Place will be for all ages, but the focus really is on children, and that's why so many playgrounds are part of the design.

The first completed element for the playground was unveiled on Thursday.

It’s a small start - one wooden tower. But there's going to be six towers in the middle of one playground, surrounded by six more, on 5 acres in the middle of 65 acres.

That said, the scale is remarkable.

The logs making up the tower came from the Black Forest of Germany, where craftsmen with generations of experience are building pieces for Tulsa's Gathering Place.

According to the organizers of the privately funded park, no one in the U.S. builds play sets of that scale and caliber.

“This is something kids in Tulsa, Oklahoma haven't seen,” Jeff Stava said.

Related Stories: A Gathering Place for Tulsa

The first one to arrive is one of the smaller ones -- it's 35 feet tall -- another will be 65 feet.

They're shipped disassembled but with good instructions.

“They'll crane them into location,” Stava said.

The first one, a watch tower, took a week to reassemble in the warehouse, where all the playground equipment, mostly

shipped in from Europe, will be held until the site is ready.

That will fill this room and then some.

The towers will go into a playground at the center of the Gathering Place site, and from the towers children will be able to overlook everything as they climb around.

"You can see the cutouts where you'll see the stairs and bridges, all the places children can climb through,” Stava said.

One tower will be a royal court, with a chair for the king and queen and secret passages.

“All of those kind of decorations will be put on once the towers are on site,” Stava said.

There are hundreds of decorative pieces for the towers, which are connected by swinging bridges and rope ladders.

The plan is to build something so creative, children cannot help but build their imagination.

"We want the playground to be a real place of learning, not just play,” Stava said.

On site at the Gathering Place, the main visible construction is either dirt work or the foundations for the tunnels on Riverside.

The project is due to open late next year.

Keep up with the park's progress with the Construction Cam