School and playground works projects this summer

by Beth Melo on July 9, 2018

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Above: When I posted about schools asking kids to avoid the summer slide last week, I was tempted to use these pics. They show another slide the schools are asking kids to avoid. Fixing it is one of the smallest work projects taking place on school grounds and playgrounds this summer. (photo by Beth Melo)

At the June School Committee meeting, the Superintendent gave an update on summer projects. The topic wasn’t about summer school. It was about a number of Public Works projects going on at school grounds this summer.

I followed up to get some more details, plus updates on Town playground projects. Here’s the latest dirt.

An over $1M contract approved by Selectmen this summer is paving the way for several of the projects below. The Paving Contract is for road maintenance and other projects. For the off road projects, some funds are coming from the Recreation Revolving Fund, the Community Preservation Act funds, and the schools.

Playground Projects

Fayville Playground

As you may recall, the Fayville Playground can’t be opened to the public until the handicap access and parking is paved. Public Works expects that to be done in July or August, but couldn’t commit to a date. 

As for work behind the fence. . . There’s been a lot of progress since last summer, with the major equipment installed. But, as of this afternoon, there’s still a fair amount of finish work needed. (You can see my pics by clicking on thumbnails below.)

Fayville Playground July 2018 (photo by Beth Melo) Fayville Playground July 2018 (photo by Beth Melo) Fayville Playground July 2018 (photo by Beth Melo) Fayville Playground July 2018 (photo by Beth Melo) Fayville Playground July 2018 (photo by Beth Melo)

We’re coming up on two years since the pavilion was demolished by the storm and one year since the first promised re-opening. Let’s hope the equipment and grounds work is done by the time the paving is done.

Neary Slide

If you’ve visited the Neary Playground recently, you may have noticed their main slide was taped off. Someone broke the bottom section of the slide. The school ordered a replacement and hopes to have it repaired soon.

Finn Playground Expansion

A few years ago, Finn SOS began holding to fundraisers for a redesigned playground at Finn School. Unfortunately, the project proved to be too big. Fundraising only came up with around $50K, about 1/5 of the total project estimate. So, the plans have been streamlined. 

They won’t be overhauling the play area for 5-12 year olds. But they will be adding a couple more swings and a climbing structure for the preschool students. They’re also considering freshening the old equipment with a paint job. And Friends of Southborough Recreation has agreed to pitch in some money towards the project.

Recreation hopes to get the work done this summer before school starts. But the timing is tight since they can’t do it while the Town’s Rec camp is using the playground through mid-August.

Woodward School Driveway

Speaking of Rec camps, one of the paving projects contributed to moving the older kids camp from Woodward to to Trottier this summer. Pavers will be working on that school’s driveway and adding some extra parking spaces.

Shared driveway concept for Woodward, Golf Course and Public Safety Building (cropped from STM 2017 materials)

(click to enlarge)

The project won’t result in a shared driveway with the Public Safety Building and Golf Course this year. That cut-through has to wait. (Which means the egress for student pickup and dropoff will remain the same this fall.)

PSB Committee Chair Jason Malinowski said that some of the details for each facility’s parking lot may have changed since March 2017. But the traffic flow concept is still as was pitched at that Special Town Meeting. (You can see that image by clicking on thumbnail above right.)

He expects to work through more details about the cut-through with the School Committee and administration next year (hopefully in time for the start of the 2019-20 school year).

Woodward School current parking lot (from Google Maps)

(click to enlarge)

Public Works Superintendent Karen Galligan said that this year’s changes to the driveway are minor. Parking being added will only be on one side of the drive (past the lower lot entrance) and fewer spots than in the drafted concept. And the circle at the end of the drive will remain even after the cut-through is paved. (And, obviously, the lower lot isn’t being replaced with rec fields anytime soon. You can see what the layout looks like in the satellite image of the current lot, right.)

Trottier and Neary Campus

Unlike Woodward, Trottier and Neary have two access points, via Parkerville and Deerfoot. That’s fortunate, since in addition to camps moved there this summer, there are a few works projects scheduled there this summer.

Trottier Drive (from Google Maps)

(click to enlarge)

Trottier Driveway

The driveway between Neary School and the Middle School will also be paved this summer. The Trottier project is to stop cars from going “airborne” when going over the speed bumps. The current bumps were deemed too extreme. They’ll be ground down and replaced with more moderate road humps. They will be modeled after the road humps on Parkerville Road between Main Street and Neary School. (This project, estimated at about $60K, is funded mostly through the Town’s budgets.)

Footpath from Deerfoot

Trottier path from Deerfoot

(click to enlarge)

Many students walking to Trottier and Neary Schools take a footpath from Deerfoot Road to enter the campus. The path is in disrepair and need of attention. Public Works Superintendent Karen Galligan determined that only a section of it needs repairing, making it a $5K project that the schools will fund this summer.

Trottier Track

Town Meeting voters approved $279,500 for repairing the running track at Trottier. Work was slated for this summer, but the project hasn’t gone to bid yet. That means the timetable is uncertain at this point. But I learned that when the repairs are done, a new prohibition will be posted – no dogs allowed. So, if you’ve been enjoying the track to walk your dog, get in your last laps this summer before the repairs.

Depietri Field

Another Town Meeting approval is funding $197,400 worth of repair work on the soccer field by the front parking lot at Neary. At this point the design is underway with work schedule TBD. It might not begin until fall.

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