Residents question playground demolition

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - A demolished playground is causing controversy in one Richmond neighborhood.

Tuesday morning, slides and monkey bars were crushed by a bulldozer in the Whitcomb Court community. Residents want to know why.

The Richmond Redevelopment and Housing Authority oversees Whitcomb Court. A spokesperson with RRHA says the equipment on the playground was unsafe and had to go.

Our camera caught one of the bulldozers at work. It's a site that saddens 12-year-old Jayquan Johnson.

"Sad, because we don't have anywhere else to play," said Johnson.

The playground is just a few hundred feet away from his home.

Renee Massenberg reached out to NBC 12 to express her concern. She says that playground kept neighborhood kids busy and out of trouble.

"We didn't get notice it was going to be torn down or anything like that. My concern is what do the kids have to do now," she added.

Several residents we spoke with say the tearing down of the playground came as a complete surprise.

They say they've tried to get answers from RRHA  but have been unsuccessful. So, we got answers for them.

RRHA says the equipment on the playground was deemed unsafe after an inspection, and that the agency had to remove it to avoid any child getting hurt.

Johnson and others in the Whitcomb Court community are hopeful one thing comes out of the destruction.

"A new playground," said Johnson.

A spokesperson with RRHA says it's considering replacing the playground, but no final decision has been made.

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