Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Mango Circle public housing complex finally gets safe playground

TARPON SPRINGS — Dakari Phillips climbed to the top of the slide in the Mango Circle public housing complex. With a big smile that showed a hint of apprehension, he took the plunge.

Dakari's hands and legs were in the air and all that could be heard was the 2-year-old's hearty laughter.

For more than a year, Dakari and the nearly 60 children who live in Mango Circle have been without playground equipment after the 60-unit complex's previous apparatus was removed because of its rundown and unsafe condition.

But last month, the Tarpon Springs Housing Authority took possession of equipment owned by the city of Tarpon Springs and moved it to the complex. Pat Weber, the authority's executive director, said it cost $13,890 to move the equipment from Lime Street to Mango Circle.

"It gives all the kids something to do," said Cameron Barnes, 13, who lives in Mango Circle. "As soon as everyone gets home from school, they rush straight to the park."

The city had to move the equipment, which includes a slide combination set for ages up to 12 and a swing set, because it was on a parcel on Lime Street that is part of an $11.5 million housing project that the Housing Authority just started.

"It's a perfect scenario to see the partnership between the city and the Housing Authority to benefit the kids so that they can have a place to play," Commissioner Chris Alahouzos said.

Mango Circle first drew attention in April 2009 after a St. Petersburg Times story described the rundown conditions of the complex's playground.

A National Playground and Park Association inspector delivered a scathing report that said the site was unsafe for children, and the playground was removed.

The Housing Authority was initially reluctant to replace the playground equipment because it had applied for a federal tax credit that would enable it to demolish the complex and build a new one.

But the authority later learned that Mango Circle, which was built in 1973, did not receive the needed tax credit. The authority plans to reapply for the credit.

Demorris A. Lee can be reached at or (727) 445-4174.

Mango Circle public housing complex finally gets safe playground 11/16/10 [Last modified: Tuesday, November 16, 2010 7:05pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Lightning takes defenseman Cal Foote with top pick in draft

    Lightning Strikes

    CHICAGO — Cal Foote said he was so young when his father, Adam, played in the NHL, he didn't remember their hug in the Avalanche's dressing room during the 2001 Stanley Cup celebration.

    Head shot of Times staffer Joe Smith. Joe Smith is the Tampa Bay Lightning beat writer for the sports department. Staffer mug shot taken in Times studio on Tuesday (06/20/17).
  2. Lightning journal: Plans set for 25th anniversary celebration

    Lightning Strikes

    CHICAGO — The Lightning revealed some of its plans for its 25th anniversary season Friday, including a ceremony to honor the 2004 Stanley Cup team.

    PHILADELPHIA, PA - JUNE 27:  Anthony DeAngelo of the Tampa Bay Lightning poses for a portrait during the 2014 NHL Draft at the Wells Fargo Center on June 27, 2014 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images)
  3. Lightning picks defenseman Cal Foote


    While the Lightning is still trying to bolster its blueline via trade, it selected a big, right shot defenseman Cal Foote at No. 14 overall Friday in the NHL Draft.

    Cal Foote is the son of former Avs defenseman Adam Foote.
  4. Kids today: They don't work summer jobs the way they used to


    WASHINGTON — It was at Oregon's Timberline Lodge, later known as a setting in the horror movie The Shining, where Patrick Doyle earned his first real paycheck.

    Teens Ben Testa, from left, Hannah Waring and Abby McDonough, and Wegmeyer Farms owner Tyler Wegmeyer walk the strawberry rows at the Hamilton, Va., farm in late May.
  5. Jeb Bush back in the hunt for the Marlins, now opposing Derek Jeter


    Associated Press:

    Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush has switched sides in pursuit of the Miami Marlins, and he’s trying to beat out former teammate Derek Jeter.