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  • 1. Warrant for Improvements at Francis Wyman Playgrounds May 27, 2009
  • 2. Francis Wyman Playgrounds Are Used by Entire Town
    • The playgrounds at the Francis Wyman Elementary School are some of the most widely used play areas in the Town.
    • In addition to the ~600 students who attend during the school year, these playgrounds are also used by:
      • School Department after-school program.
      • YMCA after-school program.
      • Town-wide summer full-day childcare program.
      • Neighborhood children.
  • 3. Safety and Accessibility Issues with Playgrounds
    • Serious safety and poor disability access conditions exist at the Francis Wyman playgrounds which require immediate attention.
    • For over a year now, the special needs students at Francis Wyman have not visited many of the playground areas due to poor surface conditions and lack of adequate access structures.
      • Already one documented accident involving a student in a wheelchair caused by poor surface conditions.
  • 4. Play Areas Need to Be Refurbished
    • The original play equipment and grounds were put in place in 1997/98 when the school first reopened – some of this equipment was borrowed from the Wildwood School and other places.
    • Deteriorating play equipment that is well over 10 years old now requires removal and replacement.
    • Several play areas are open lots of dirt and grass, with essentially no play equipment, and require new structures and landscaping.
  • 5. A Partnership With the Town and PTO
    • The PTO is 100% committed to improving the play areas at Francis Wyman, and has started its plan for substantial fundraising over the next year.
    • However, we need the town’s support to rectify the Safety and Disability Access issues which need immediate attention.
    • We are also requesting that the town share some of the cost of refurbishing the Francis Wyman playgrounds as has been done in the past.
  • 6. Front Lot Playground Upper Playground Back Playground
    • The Francis Wyman school utilizes three playgrounds during recess.
    • A Reading Garden area is used for classroom specific activities.
    • The proposed improvement plan will address issues at all these areas.
    Reading Garden Hill Hill Hill
  • 7. SAFETY
  • 8.
    • .
    • The asphalt surface of the front playground requires repair.
  • 9.
    • After several iterations of repair, the cracks are now too big to be simply filled in.
  • 10.
    • The asphalt surface needs to be ground down and resurfaced.
  • 11. The Reading Garden walkway also requires resurfacing.
  • 12. Inadequate Surface on Back Playground
    • To provide adequate protection from an ~6’ fall (measured from the head), a minimum of six inches of bark mulch is required.
      • Handbook for Public Playground Safety, U.S. Pub. No. 325
    • The level of mulch at back playground is between ½ to zero inches in depth, providing NO protection against falls from play equipment.
  • 13. Underground pipe for sound tubes is now exposed.
  • 14. Recommended level of mulch is designated on all play structures.
  • 15. Install New “Permanent” Surface in Back Playground
    • The proposed fix is to install a combination rubber surface.
      • Rubber mulch already in Tot Lot on Pathwoods Avenue.
      • Low maintenance cost – 10 year warrantee, no need for yearly replenishing.
      • Almost 2x safety margin - will reduce playground injuries (impact, splinters).
  • 16. DISABILITY ACCESS
  • 17.
    • The current ramp leading down to the back playground is not ADA (American Disability Act) compliant.
  • 18.
    • The ramp is too narrow and steep, and the special needs students haven’t been to that area in over a year.
  • 19.
    • The proposal is to install a new ADA compliant ramp with railings.
  • 20. Disability Access Commission is Partnering with Town
      • We are asking the town to partner with the Disability Access Commission and fund a hard rubber surface on part of the back playground surface.
        • It is very difficult for young children in wheelchairs to maneuver on mulch – the new surface will allow them to freely move about.
        • The current surface of the back playground is too low to allow access to special swings – the new surface will provide a fixed height.
        • Due to the poor condition of the back playground LABBB children have not attended recess there FOR OVER A YEAR!
      • The DAC has very generously offered to pay for 2/3rds of the cost of the surface!
  • 21.  
  • 22. Installation of Inclusive Play Events and Structures on Back Playground
    • Promotes interaction between LABBB children and rest of student body.
    • PTO will contribute to the majority of the cost of these new structures.
  • 23. ENRICHMENT
  • 24. Enrichment
    • We are asking the town, together with the PTO, to fund half of the cost of new/replacement play and shaded structures in the upper and back playgrounds, along with landscaping the surrounding hills.
      • This was done previously in 1997/98 at Francis Wyman, and was also the case with the Pine Glen and Fox Hill schools.
      • The town will not release money until the PTO has attained their fundraising goals.
    • We are also asking the town to fund an architectural design of a natural playground using the barren areas surrounding the back, with the PTO to fully implement these designs.
  • 25.
    • The upper playground is without any play structures and has essentially no shade.
  • 26.
    • A road runs along two sides of this play area.
  • 27.
    • The plan includes installing a safety fence along with shaded play structures.
  • 28.
    • Proposed play structures for upper playground.
  • 29.
    • This deteriorating play structure, designated for the younger children, will be replaced in the back playground.
  • 30.
    • Proposed replacement play structures.
  • 31.
    • Extensive landscaping is required on the hills surrounding the back playground.
  • 32.
    • Without proper landscaping, dirt and debris will run onto the new playground surfaces.
  • 33.
    • The open lot next to the back playground is a mix of grass and dirt.
  • 34.
    • The area adjacent to this is also in very poor shape.
  • 35.
    • We are asking the town to fund an architectural design for creating a natural play area for the children which the PTO will implement.
  • 36.
    • An example of a natural play area.
  • 37.
    • A natural play area is very cost-effective compared to standard play equipment, and the children can participate in the design.
  • 38. A Partnership
    • Between the Town, Disability Access Commission and the Francis Wyman PTO, we can make the Francis Wyman playgrounds a safe, nurturing environment for all our students.
    • The FW PTO is 100% committed to this project.
    • Please support this endeavor at the September 24 th Town Meeting.
    Thank you!