School district officials in Watertown have set aside $200,000 for the 2019-2020 school year specifically for updates to aging play structures at three local schools. This is the first time that money from the school budget has been allocated specifically for updates and maintenance for school playgrounds.
Updates will be made to playgrounds at three out of the five elementary schools in the district, including Knickerbocker, Ohio, and Starbuck elementary schools.
Watertown City School District Superintendent Patricia LaBarr told the Daily Times:
“They’ve been used, but also neglected quite a bit in terms of upkeep. At the end of the day, if a playground was built in the 1990s, it’s going to need updating.”
Officials point to the playground at Starbuck elementary, which was built by parent volunteers in 1992, that has structures in need of updating. A significant portion of the playscape consists of outdated wooden structures which need to be replaced and made more accessible to meet modern standards.
At Ohio elementary, a large swing that could hold six occupants was recently removed, due to it being beyond repair. Fortunately, maintenance crews noticed that the welds on the structure were starting to crack and break, and daylight could be seen through them. The structure was deemed unsafe and was removed.
In general, manufacturers of play structures recommend that updates or new installations should be performed every eight to ten years. The district has hired consultants from Parkitects Central New York Office to visit each site, assess the structures, and develop a plan to repair and update the playgrounds as needed.
While Watertown officials are doing the right thing by protecting the safety of the children who play on these playgrounds, far too many school and public officials across the state have not considered the conditions on their own playscapes. When school districts fail to allocate funds for routine maintenance and upkeep, children could suffer severe harm as a result.
Was Your Child Hurt Due To Defective Playground Equipment? We Can Help
Did defective or poorly-maintained playground equipment cause your child serious harm? You have the right to take legal action to protect your child and your financial future. The New York and Long Island playground injury attorneys of Finz & Finz, P.C., understand just how devastating and unexpected these accidents can be, and we’ll fight to make sure that you get the justice you’re owed.
Call our team at 1-855-TOP-FIRM to schedule a free consultation to discuss your case today.