Request for Funding Put in for Cummings Playground

Saturday, March 10, 2018
By Sue Ellen Woodcock

Superintendent of Schools Lisa Howard has put in a request of $200,000 for a new playground at the A.T. Cummings School (ATC).

The playground was inspected in March 2016 during an inspection of all the parks in town. During a walk-thru with Principal Ryan Heraty and Facilities Manager, Rich Cifuni, the evaluator suggested that the ground surface be replaced considering the material lacks the “bounceability factor,” which has the potential to cause injury when a child falls.

According to the evaluator, a child’s body should bounce when it falls onto the material, and the current condition of the surface doesn’t allow for that extra spring upon contact.

Keeping in mind that the park is not only used by ATC students, but also by community members after school hours, the Howard is hoping to make decisions that will take the community into perspective as a whole. There is also hope that the town will qualify for a park grant.

“The grant is based on more use at this park,” Howard said.

She said the cost of one option, to retrofit the playground, was estimated at $106,000 and a new playground was estimated at $225,000. She is hoping to lower that by fundraising or a grant.

“We don’t have it in the school budget,” Howard said. She requested that the council consider taking $200,000 from the capital stabilization fund.

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