Voorheesville playground build delayed

April 25, 2018 11:38 PM

Kids at Voorheesville Elementary School will have to wait a little longer for their new playground.

The community raised $215,000 for the new playground in under 2 years. It was supposed to be built over Mother’s Day Weekend, but parents got an email from the superintendent on Wednesday afternoon announcing a delay.

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District Superintendent Brian Hunt said there are a few more components that need to be taken care of before the State Education Department gives the project final approval.

First, the plans for the playground's foundation need to be stamped by an engineer. Hunt said that is already underway.

Second, a stage element of the playground needed to be removed because it was not compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act. Hunt said that element has already been removed from the plans.

Third, the Voorheesville Board of Education needs to complete an environmental impact review and vote on a final resolution. Hunt believes those components will be completed when the board meets on May 1.

In the meantime the 25-year-old wooden playground has been torn down. 

“I'm used to seeing it and now it's like disappeared and I'm very sad,” Voorheesville second grader Skender Miftari said.

Though the old playground was beloved by all both in the Voorheesville community and beyond, it had seen better days.

"My kindergarten teacher told us that we were getting a new playground because she noticed that everybody was getting hurt,” second grader Melody Thomas said. "They were like crawling on the ground and they got splinters."

Parents also told NewsChannel 13 there were areas within the playground where children could not been seen by monitors or parents watching them.

With the old facility torn down and a delay in building the new playground, students like Miftari have to find other ways to have fun at recess.

"We've been playing on the blacktop,” Miftari said. "There's not a lot you can do."

Second grader Melody Thomas is excited for the new playground.

"There's like going to be a zip line and it's going to have lots of colors,” Thomas said. “There's going to be this big ball with holes in it that we can climb through."

Others, like Miftari, have mixed feelings.

“I really liked the old playground,” Miftari said.

Hunt hopes the new playground can be built sometime this summer, but said it was hard to estimate a timeline without knowing when the district will get final approval from the state.

Parents told NewsChannel 13 there was a big effort coordinating volunteers for the build over Mother’s Day Weekend. They're hoping just as many people will be able to help when the project gets approval from the State Education Department.


Emily Burkhard

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