Hamlin Elementary Celebrates New Playground as Part of Bond Efforts

Hamlin Elementary School celebrated the unveiling of their new playground Saturday during a festive fall event. The new playground was funded through the bond efforts, which voters overwhelmingly approved in November 2015.

“We are excited that our children have a new area to play, socialize, and get some good physical exercise,” said Hamlin Elementary School Principal Gary van Staveren, Ph.D. “I’d like to extend a very special thank you to second grade Teacher Sarah Kirby and our PTA members who arranged a wonderful grand opening celebration inclusive of pizza, donuts, and cider.  It was a great day.”

Hamlin Elementary celebrates new playground

Hamlin Elementary celebrates new playground

Hamlin’s playground was originally slated to be replaced in 2017; however, after careful evaluation, district officials determined there was a need to move up the timeline due to the age of many of the play structure components.  “The new playground now aligns with other structures within the district,” said Director of Capital Projects and Facilities Pete Muscio.

The district also explored opportunities to improve the conventional play surface. Instead of mulching around the play structure, Hamlin Elementary School received artificial turf which is fitted over top of a thick cushioned padding to help better protect children from falls.  “We are trying out the turf surface under the play structure, as it requires less maintenance than the engineered wood fiber surface.  Every a few years, the wood fiber needs to be replaced as it wears out. The life of the turf is about 10-15 years, so the cost over time should demonstrate some efficiencies,” said Muscio. The district is also looking to standardize the playground borders, using concrete instead of plastic. These new borders can currently be seen at Musson and Hugger Elementary Schools, in addition to Hamlin.

Artificial Turf at Hamlin ElementaryArtificial Turf at Hamlin Elementary

Artificial Turf at Hamlin Elementary

Hamlin Elementary is slated to benefit from more extensive renovation projects in 2017.  “We can look forward to receiving safety and security upgrades to include a reconfiguration of the main building entrance, additional information technology upgrades, parking lot and sidewalk replacements, window and door upgrades, interior renovations, mechanical and electrical upgrades, and furniture and equipment refreshments,” said Muscio.

To date, the bond efforts have provided resources for 1) secure entrance reconfigurations at eight schools and the administration building, 2) construction projects at Hugger and Musson Elementary Schools and Rochester High School, 3) the replacement of the Stoney Creek High School and Hart Middle School athletic tracks, 4) twenty-eight new school buses equipped with cameras and GPS solutions, 5) site improvement in the Brooklands School area, and 6) extensive district-wide technology enhancements.

The bond projects are scheduled to span over a five-year period of time.  Year two projects include renovations at Adams High School, the Alternative Center for Education (ACE), West Middle School, and Baldwin and Hamlin Elementary Schools.

“Safety and efficiencies remain at the forefront of all decisions,” said Superintendent Robert Shaner, Ph.D.  “It’s an exciting time at Rochester Community Schools.  Because our community voted to invest in our schools, we have the resources to improve the learning environment for all our children.”

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