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Playground will be named after murdered girl, Sierra Newbold

Published March 25, 2014 9:37 pm

Its equipment will be accessible to children with disabilities.
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2014, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

A new playground that will be accessible to all children, including kids with disabilities, is slated to be built this spring in West Jordan.

The playground, in Ron Wood Park at 5900 W. New Bingham Highway, will be named in honor of Sierra Newbold, a West Jordan 6-year-old girl who was abducted from her home in 2012 and killed. The West Jordan City Council unanimously approved the name earlier this month.

"In honor of Sierra's life and the ongoing efforts of her family to bring awareness to the evil of child abuse, the council felt it was appropriate to name this playground the Sierra Newbold Playground," the city said in a news release.

Workers will begin installing the playground in April and the city plans to hold an official ribbon cutting in May.

The all-abilities playground, which will be designed to spark children's imagination, will be approximately 13,237 square feet and cost about $446,000. A rubberized surface will allow children in wheelchairs to move throughout the entire playground, which will have ramps up to decks that have accessible play options and a transfer module so children can get onto the equipment.

Other features will include slides, swings, spinners, a spider web climber, a wheelchair-accessible glider and musical play panels.

The playground will be funded with park impact fees, which are paid by developers. The West Jordan Exchange Club also is raising money for the project through the sale of metal balloons, inscribed with a name or a message, that are attached to a donor wall. In addition, Comcast will donate money toward the playground for each volunteer who helps with community beautification projects during Comcast Cares/I Love West Jordan Day on April 26.

A tribute to Sierra already was placed in the city's Veterans Memorial Park last summer. West Jordan resident Alexandra Eframo paid for a park bench with a plaque and a quote from A.A. Milne's "Winnie the Pooh" that says, "If there ever comes a day when we can't be together, keep me in your heart, I'll stay there forever."

The community also is remembering Sierra by doing a remodel of her family's home. Organizers of the New Home For Newbolds effort are seeking donations of building materials and money.

The playground is part of the Phase II development of the park, which includes a splash pad, two tennis courts, a basketball court, a pavilion and restrooms on 10 acres. Twenty-four additional acres will be developed in about five years to include fields for soccer, lacrosse, football and rugby, according to the city. When all phases are completed, the park will cover about 64 acres. The park is named after West Jordan Police Officer Ron Wood, who was shot and killed Nov. 18, 2002, by a robbery suspect he was chasing. The suspect, 17-year-old Justin Van Roekel, later shot and killed himself when confronted by another officer.

Sierra was kidnapped June 26, 2012, from her bedroom, raped and thrown into a nearby canal, where she drowned, according to court documents. A neighbor, Terry Lee Black, has been charged in the case with aggravated murder, child kidnapping and rape of a child and is awaiting trial.

pmanson@sltrib.com

Twitter: PamelaMansonSLC —

Fund-raising efforts

The West Jordan community has come together to remember Sierra Newbold and to help her family.

The city is building the Sierra Newbold Playground this spring, and Comcast will make a donation to the project for each volunteer who participates in community beautification projects during the Comcast Cares/I Love West Jordan Day on April 26. To sign up, email info@wjordan.com or visit http://www.wjordan.com/.

The West Jordan Exchange Club is selling metal balloons that will be inscribed and attached to a donor wall to raise money for the playground. Call the club's president, West Jordan Police Chief Doug Diamond, at 801-256-2001 for more information.

Local residents are doing a remodel of the Newbold home and are seeking donations of money and building materials. Visit http://www.newhomefornewbolds.com for more information.