Playground Status and Current Needs

Playground Status and Current Needs2018-11-09T11:48:45+00:00

While most parents are probably aware that the FPG playground was in need of major renovations even before hurricanes Florence and Michael flooded it, many parents may not be aware of exactly how dire the situation is now.  Please read on to learn about the current playground status, what YOU can do to help, and our renovation plans.

Last updated: November 2, 2018

Playground Status

  • The playground is still unusable. Flooding caused by hurricanes Florence and Michael pulled the fencing down along Morgan Creek so that the playground and school are no longer secure.  The flooding also damaged the play structures and left behind dead fish and other contaminants. The school district is addressing these immediate problems and our children should regain access in the next few weeks. However, the fundamental challenges of flooding have yet to be addressed for the long term impact to our play areas.
  • Playground repair and replacement is the responsibility of the PTA (i.e. of parents). In general, the CHCCS district does not contribute to the costs of playground repair or replacement, instead leaving these costs entirely to school PTAs.
  • Playground repair and replacement is expensive. Our renovation plans (detailed below) extend over many years and include replacement of failing structures and equally important improvements to the site to ensure faster recovery from future flooding.  We estimate the total costs of playground structures and improvements to be roughly $430,000. Raising these funds will require a Herculean effort—we need your help to petition the school board, apply for grants, seek corporate sponsorship, and ask for donations.

How can YOU help?

  • Volunteer at our first playground cleanup day on November 17th, 12-4pm.  Read more HERE or e-mail Dan Koehler at dankoehler16@gmail.com if you have questions.
  • Petition the school board to meet the play needs of our children by signing and returning the advocacy letter that went home in your Friday folder November 2nd (also available HERE).  You can also show support for our school by attending the next Board of Education meeting on Nov 15th.  Email Sara Faccidomo (see below) for details.
  • Fundraise. On #GivingTuesday, November 27th, the FPGB PTA will launch a year-end fundraising campaign, with all funds to go toward renovation of the playground. Join our GoFundMe team HERE or by sending an email to Christina Burch at christina1burch@gmail.com. We are setting an ambitious goal for the 2018-2019 school year — to raise $100,000. Achieving this goal will enable all of the work that can be completed by Summer 2019 and provide some starter monies for Fall 2019.
  • Share your ideas about where we might seek corporate sponsorships, grants, access to low cost construction equipment or skilled labor, etc., with PTA President Sara Faccidomo at sarafaccidomopta@gmail.com.

Renovation Plan

Over the past several years, the PTA collaborated with faculty, staff, and a nonprofit consultant, Lands and Waters, to identify the unmet needs of our students, analyze the challenges posed by our playground site, and develop a comprehensive renovation plan. The full plan encompasses the entire playground site, includes numerous individual projects, and is expected to span 4-5 years. View the comprehensive plan here.

Phase 1 Timeline: 2018-2019

Estimated cost: $210,000, to be raised from grants, donations, and—possibly—petitions to the school district.

Itemized list of planned improvements:

  • Drinking fountain (complete)
  • Sports equipment and storage (complete)
  • Natural playground
  • Walking track
  • Environmental work
  • Seating and coat rack
  • Grass play fields

Phase 2 Timeline: 2019-2021

Estimated cost: $220,000, to be raised from grants, donations, and—possibly—petitions to the school district.

Itemized list of planned improvements:

  • Refurbish basketball, foursquare, and K-2 court surfaces and accessories
  • Replace old K-2 play structures with new structures on higher ground
  • Replace old 3-5 play structures with new structures on higher ground
  • Develop outdoor learning spaces
  • Complete stream buffer plantings, continue to improve drainage
  • Plant shade trees
  • Provide 110 electrical service to the playground