A popular playground and source of community pride in Bath is no longer safe for children to play on.

A popular playground and source of community pride in Bath is no longer safe for children to play on.
­Bath Central School Facility Director Anthony Colomaio said a recent inspection of the wooden playground at the Vernon E. Wightman Primary School indicated it is hazardous.
 Colomaio told the school district board Wednesday  the inspection of the 20-year-old community-built play area showed there were too many ways little children could be hurt playing there.  The multi-turreted and closely fenced area also made it difficult to monitor children, according to the report.
District Interim Superintendent Ted Binley said the district also received a letter from its insurance provider stating the provider has warned the district about the playground problem for years and will not cover the district in case of an accident.
The whimsical playground was a community wide venture two decades ago, with parents and businesses joining in to build it for little tykes.
A popular trend decades ago, the community-built playground in Bath features castles and play yards, growling slides and a submerged tire snake for children’s play.
 But the wood has splinters, the stain applied every year could leach off on sweaty little hands, and maintenance and repairs are nearly constant, Colomaio told the board.
 School officials said if children did continue to use the playground during balmy school days, teachers would need to closely monitor their games. An all-purpose room also could be used for recess, but the equipment at the nearby Dana Lyon Elementary playground is too big for the primary-aged children, according to officials.
Tearing down the playground could cost the district $100,000, according to district business manager Peg Burdick. However, the price could be included in future capital projects and reimbursed by the state, with the district paying $10,000, she said.
A new playground would have to meet new state safety standards.
 Board members Mark Schlechter and Rosalie Niemczyk said they would meet with VEW parents soon to explain the issue.