The East Greenbush Central School District announced at its public Board of Education meeting on Wednesday that it would invest the remaining funds from the 2017 Capital Project towards replacing the playgrounds at Genet and Red Mill Elementary Schools.
The design and proposal process will begin immediately. Work would be done next summer and is expected to be completed by the start of the 2023-24 school year.
It is anticipated there will be approximately $745,000 in surplus funds from the Capital Project once all items are completed by the end of this school year. The Capital Project has focused on improving infrastructure across the school district including classroom and bathroom renovations, roofing, windows, lighting, HVAC, paving, instructional technology, and public address, fire alarm and security systems.
Following a review of potential projects and estimated timelines, Superintendent Jeff Simons recommended to the board that the remaining funds be used to upgrade the playgrounds, which impact both students and the community at large.
The Genet and Red Mill playgrounds were identified as the two playgrounds in most urgent need of replacement based on studies conducted by Questar III BOCES Health and Safety and the playground architectural firm Parkitects.
“We chose that option to recommend to the board because it fits within the $745,000 – it’s about $350,000 per building,” Mr. Simons said. “The design process is pretty simple. It involves the vendor working with each building to submit information regarding the design of the playground structures to the New York State Education Department for review and approval. Once approved, we believe we could get it done and completed next summer.”
The Board of Education was supportive of Mr. Simons’ plan.
“The playground projects are community use projects,” said Board of Education President Michael Buono. “There’s a lot of activity, a lot of use from our community in off-school hours as well. And I think it really would benefit those two locations to have the playgrounds redone.”
Genet and Red Mill will create committees, including school staff and parents, to design the new playgrounds in coordination with the school district administration and Parkitects.
In addition to those schools receiving new playground equipment, the district has already begun the process of improving the safety of all of its playgrounds.
- In the fall of 2021, all playgrounds received new certified playground mulch to increase the surface depth and improve impact cushioning for students.
- The district budgeted for additional repairs to all playgrounds for the 2022-23 school year. These funds will be used to replace the swings at all playgrounds, replace broken slides and other playground equipment that has worn over the years.
“This conveys our ongoing commitment to the health and safety of all who use our playgrounds,” said Director of Facilities Paul Bickel.
Video from Board of Education Meeting (October 12, 2022)
Capital Project Discussion