VIRGINIA BEACH, VA. (WAVY) – Two playgrounds in Virginia Beach’s resort-area are being replaced and relocated to accommodate large crowds for major events at the Oceanfront.

The castle-themed playground located on 31st Street near the King Neptune statute will be removed and a new playground will be built on 35th Street, right behind the Hilton Vacation Club near the Virginia Beach Law Enforcement Memorial.

The new playground at 35th Street is currently under construction, and once completed, the 31st street playground will be demolished. The playground is expected to be complete by April 10.

Additionally, the pirate ship playground at 10th Street behind the Hampton Inn has already been demolished, and a brand-new pirate themed playground will be installed at 15th Street just north of the Virginia Beach Fishing Pier. Construction of this playground will begin in early May.

The playgrounds are being relocated in order to accommodate the large amount of foot traffic seen at major festivals and events on the beach. Music festivals such as Something in the Water and sports tournaments such as the North American Sand Soccer Tournament usually draw large enough crowds that these changes would be necessary.

Another necessity? Safety.

According to Chad Morris, planning, design and development administrator for Virginia Beach Parks and Recreation, playgrounds typically last about 15 years before they need to be renovated, and both playgrounds have been a staple of the Oceanfront for quite some time.

“Though they held up well considering they were subject to a harsher environment than most with the sand, wind and salt air,” said Morris, “these two playgrounds have reached the end of their life-cycle and it’s time to replace them for safety reasons.”

No changes are being made to Grommet Island Park near Rudee Inlet at this time.