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Playground construction to begin!

July 28, 2016

 

  • Start date:  We are told construction will begin on Monday, August 1!!   We had hoped that construction would start earlier in the summer, however, complications for a project of this size and complexity are not unusual.  It took longer than expected to work through the site plan approval process and other final details with the city .  The contractor, Eastern Earthscapes and Construction, will work to get as much done as possible before school starts on August 29.
  • Project scope:  We will still be getting a new play/soccer field, half-court basketball court and rain gardens.  DPS will also be paving part of the walking trail.  This will occur in two phases.  The first phase will be the grading, paving and other construction elements, and should take about a month to complete.  Phase 2 is mostly plantings, and will be done in the fall. The fossil dig and embankment slide, while still in the plan, will occur in Phase 3, which we hope will follow soon after Phase 2 is complete.  We anticipate the fossil dig will be installed by PTA volunteers.  If we encounter unforeseen costs, we may have to delay the embankment slide until we raise more funds. The bulk of the work in the first two phases is being dictated by city stormwater rules and our stormwater grants, and we have been required to put in more piping, swales, soil amendments and plantings than originally planned.  These elements cost money and have to take priority.  All of this means that we currently don’t have funding for the hard-surface “outdoor classroom” space that we had planned near the playground entrance, or the walkway along the parking lot to Dacian Ave. These elements are part of the original plan and we will continue to explore how and when to complete them.
  • Access to the playground:   When the work begins, the playground will be closed for the rest of the summer.  As the work progresses, we will work with the school, DPS, and the contractor to figure out whether and how the playground can be used for recess once school begins.  Safety is the first priority. We do know that the play/soccer field will need to be fenced off for some time while the new grass takes root.  The short-term inconvenience will pay off in the long-term, and we ask for everyone’s patience  (Stay tuned to the listserv for an updated location for the August 7 PTA play date).
  • Fundraising: We are continuing to raise funds for this project through grants and donations.  All ideas, leads and offers of support are most welcomed!
  • We are grateful for all the help DPS, landscape architect Katherine Gill and Chris Dreps, with the Ellerbe Creek Watershed Association, have provided to get us to this point. We will be in touch soon with concrete ways you can help with this project. If you have any questions in the meantime, please contact Sarah Musser (Sarah.musser@duke.edu) or Annie Ambrose (anniescorza@gmail.com).
  • As construction begins we will post photos and updates…stay tuned!
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