Houston, we don’t have a problem. The Central Coast’s most iconic play structure at Long Jetty’s Lions Park is going into a temporary orbit but no need to worry as it will return as good as new and ready for many more trips around the sun.
The gleaming yellow rocket is enshrined in the memories of generations of Coasties and this planned refreshment of the structure by Council ensures the asset’s life will be extended for decades to come.
In a first-of-its-kind operation, Lions Park will be shut for a few hours later this month to allow crane access to the site and lift the rocket ship out in one piece before trucking it offsite for the repair work to begin.
Underpinning the refresh is a need to bring the park up to modern standards and includes replacing corroded metal that has reached the end of its design, removing rust, upgrading access points to be more accessible and painting the rocket in its original colours.
It is expected to be completed by the end of June.
The park will remain open during the duration of the project work.
Council Director Community and Recreation Services Melanie Smith is not only excited for the project to get underway but also the unique way residents are able to contribute to the final design.
“We understand the importance of the rocket ship to our community and Council’s number one priority is to preserve it for the future,” said Ms Smith.
“Many of our employees have a personal connection to the rocket by playing on it themselves in years gone by and now taking their own kids to enjoy it.
“To help facilitate the final design we’re asking the community to vote on their preferred option. The first option will be essential repairs only with the rocket ship retaining its classic look, while the second allows for the top portion of the structure to re-open to the public for the first time in years, with a return of the refurbished rocket consisting of the addition of an extra slide to bring it up to current standards,” she concluded.
Council Administrator Rik Hart said the project acknowledges both the past and future rocket ship design.
“We are completing this project now so that we can safely repair the rocket ship structure to meet the very high Australia standards.
“The team is committed to respecting the history of the rocket ship and is looking to install an information board at the completion of the project to highlight the rocket’s life throughout the years,” Mr Hart said.
“I encourage the community to take advantage of the opportunity to vote to help ensure this beloved rocket ship will inspire children’s imaginations for many more years to come.”