HH Elementary School playground resurfacing
The HH Board of Education currently has tentative plans to renovate and resurface the playgrounds at both Euclid and Lincoln School with construction scheduled to begin immediately following the end of this school year. After reviewing different options, the borough engineer has suggested that the top layer of the playgrounds be macadam (blacktop) with two of the major reasons being a more economical price and a longer life expectancy; 20 yrs. A second option researched was the softer rubberized surface. The Board has been told that these resilient surfaces are intended for use in parks with swings and slides, not in a school playground setting because the life span on this surface would be seriously diminished. This surface is a little more expensive, has a life expectancy of 10 years and would be much safer for the children but it brings with it a few challenges regarding use and maintenance. Primarily, it would prohibit bicycles, scooters and skateboards from being used on the playgrounds. The wheels tear the surface and repairing it can be costly and time consuming.
Another difference would be for anyone who uses the basketball courts. The rubberized ‘tennis top’ slightly alters the way the basketballs bounce. Children may not recognize or be affected by the change but adults may notice enough of a difference that they may choose to find an alternate court.
With each school having over 400 students using the playgrounds every school day, the investment in the softer surface is unquestionably worthwhile. Euclid School alone averages 10-12 students a day visiting the nurses office with scrapes and cuts received after falling on the playground.
The BOE is open to discussion and is willing to consider the softer, safer top surface if we; the parents; can offer some solutions to the maintenance problem. Both playgrounds remain unlocked after school and on weekends which allows children and adults to use them unsupervised. The playgrounds will not be monitored by school officials or employees during these times.
- We can start by adding the restrictions to the signs hanging on the playground fences but ultimately it will be the responsibility of the community and parents to teach our children to obey the new rules.
- We can ask Mr. Colangelo and Mr. Sickels to allow short assemblies in the schools to teach the children about the problems the wheels would cause and how to avoid ruining the new playgrounds.
- Perhaps we can try to raise some money to offset the difference in price for the more expensive top layer.
I don’t want this opportunity to pass without exhausting every option. If the blacktop is put down, it may be 20 years or more before another upgrade is made. The BOE is holding their monthly meeting tonight beginning at 7:30pm in the MS/HS Media Center. If enough parents attend tonight’s meeting to let the Board know that we are willing to help keep the playgrounds from being damaged, it may sway their decision. If you cannot attend the meeting, please consider signing the petition at www.ipetitions.com search: HH Elementary School playground resurfacing.
I would like to bring the results of the petition to the meeting tonight to show that in just a few hours, a long list of concerned parents would like the Board to do more research before making a final decision. If you have any questions or comments but can’t make it to the BOE meeting, please contact me before tonight and I will relay them to the board.
Kristin Schaffer firstname.lastname@example.org
Euclid School parent