South Colonie elementary schools are set to receive new school playground equipment this year—thanks in part to donations from several school PTA groups and a grant from Assemblymember Phil Steck (D-Colonie).
Several elementary PTAs announced donations last year to offset the cost for the district to enhance or replace each respective school’s existing playground. With the arrival of the new equipment, the crews were onsite this week at Forest Park Elementary beginning installation.
“A heartfelt thank you to our PTA for their generous donation to enhance our playground,” said Jill Penn, Forest Park Elementary Principal. “The PTA’s donation along with the grant from Assemblyman Steck, and district support through stimulus funds enabled us to offer our students an upgraded playground experience this year. It is an exciting time at Forest Park for our students.”
The replacement and enhancement of the district’s five elementary playground facilities will continue in the spring with Veeder and Roessleville next on the schedule.
“We know that having outdoor playground space for our students to play is vital to their development,” said Superintendent of Schools Dr. David Perry. “In addition to the physical benefit—the space also provides a natural setting for students to interact outside of the classroom where many life skills are learned. As we begin to evaluate the overall needs of the district, rebuilding these outdoor spaces for students has definitely been a priority for us.”
In addition to the donations from the South Colonie PTA groups and a $25,000 grant from Assemblyman Steck, the district is investing approximately $30,000 in equipment to each building in addition to labor and concrete costs associated with installation. Funding provided by the district will come from the American Rescue Plan Act ESSER grant.
In addition to the playgrounds, the South Colonie voters recently passed the Next Generation Capital Referendum vote in October which will result in approximately $120 million in additional renovations with the first phase of construction beginning in 2024.