Beverly Outdoor improvements background and progress update:
In May 2013 Beverly PTO member Roberta Sheets procured an estimate from TPS to move the old playground for $15,000-$16,000. Topic was on agenda again in September and November 2013 and January and February 2014 meetings. 6 people answered a call for a committee made both at the November meeting, and in December Newsletter. Beverly raised over $13,000 last year at FunWalk and PTO membership voted in January to dedicate those funds to outdoor improvements. A committee meeting was called where it was decided to look at costs of both moving the old and specifying a possible new playground with the funds allotted or funds plus possible grant funds to present to the membership. Attendance was sparse at the meeting (3).
In February 2014 meeting both a “move” option and a new option were presented. The membership asked if a hybrid was possible. The new playground was contingent on grant $$ and consisted of less equipment than the current Kindergarten playground, but with tables as had been requested several times by students and staff. Feedback given on the new vs. move option was to not make a choice but to see if we could combine two plans, to move some equipment and apply for the grant so that students could have equipment, fenced in open space, and tables as specified in the new plan.
Stephanie Eichenberg ascertained that it was possible to combine the grant funded expansion with the playground move if certain financial rules were followed. Stephanie submitted the grant application, due in February. The grant was awarded late in May 2014, with further details forwarded by the grantor in June.
We must do the following in order to keep the $4,400 Lowes Toolbox for Education awarded us:
-move functional equipment from old playground
-purchase and install fencing of open space
-secure seating and plants/planters for the purpose of outdoor education
Where are we now?
We had to re-bid the project with a formal quote with a TPS approved contractor. This process began in August however we did not receive the quote until September. Additional steps were required since both TPS and Beverly PTO will pay All Aspects. All Aspects has successfully installed other TPS playgrounds recently.
All Aspects provided a lower bid than original contractor. Due to safety concerns fencing costs will increase over original budget. Once we determine the final cost of fencing, we may have funds left over.
All Aspects has started the initial excavation and we now need to coordinate the new layout with them. It appears nearly all equipment is salvageable, so more space will be needed for play equipment.
Next steps:are to purchase and install fencing, tables, benches and planters specified by the grant.
How can Beverly families help?We are determining final timeline over this next week, and will announce a date for helping to install additional fencing, build planter boxes and layout purchased tables soon. A spring planting date may be announced as well.
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