Committee proposes new playground at LP Elementary

LAKE PLACID - A committee of teachers, parents and volunteers thinks it's time to explore options for a new playground at the Lake Placid Elementary School.

For more than 20 years, children have enjoyed the school's park, but at Tuesday's meeting of the Lake Placid Central School District Board of Education, volunteers pointed out that the current structure is beginning to deteriorate.

Katrina Kroes spoke to the board on behalf of the Lake Placid Elementary Playground Initiative.

"The current playground is quite majestic and is very popular," she said. "But it's starting to show wear and tear. We've seen a lot of kids coming in from recess with splinters, and for some of the older students, the crawl spaces and play spaces are too small."

She also notes that students come in from recess dirty and there's not sufficient space for pre-schoolers. Kroes also says some of the elements don't meet current safety guidelines and the playground is not fully-accessible to children with disabilities. At Tuesday's meeting, Kroes offered three options to the board for replacing or renovating the play park.

The first option seeks to maintain the existing structure. That would include washing, sanding and coating the playground as well as replacing pea stone ground cover with a uniform depth of stone, wood or rubber.

"Currently, the surface of the playground is very uneven, which raises injury concerns," Kroes said.

Maintenance of the park would also require the purchasing and installation of new elements - like swings, bridges and slides.

Overall, the total cost of option one is approximately $45,000 and offers a temporary solution.

Option two, Kroes says, would be to buy a new, traditional playground. That process would cost anywhere between $99,000 and $145,000 according to quotes received in the spring from four companies.

The third option - the option recommended by the FRIENDS Playground Committee - seeks removal of the current structure and the design of a "natural playground."

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