After reviewing and analyzing price quotes from two reputable playground and equipment design companies, the School Committee has decided to move forward with Ultiplay Parks and Play-grounds, the same company that built the Gorman Fort Banks playground. Following the committee’s direction, Superintendent Lisa Howard met with the Town Manager to discuss funds, considering the 2020 school budget was funded below service level, leaving no room for additional projects, staffing or new initiatives.
“I have worked very closely with the Town Manager and Principal of the ATC to keep them up to date on the costs and planning involved,” said Howard. “We have discussed various funding po-tential for a project of this size which is in excess of $140,000. The Town Manager and I decided that the best potential chance of funding this large project was through a request from the Winthrop Foundation.”
The Winthrop Foundation is a non-profit that was created as a result of the $2.5 million that was donated by MassPort in June. The donation has been placed in a non-profit charitable trust to sup-port local projects and organizations. The Winthrop Foundation is comprised of an appointed Board of Trustees that will determine where funding goes. Since the playground is used by the school, during the school day and also continuously occupied by the larger community after school hours, on weekends and during the summer, the hope is that the funds will be provided by the foundation.
The request for funding has been drafted, complete with the quote and will be submitted to the Foundation as soon as they open the process to submit such requests.
“We are hopeful that the request will be approved,” said Howard. “Once approved for funding, we will move forward with scheduling the project.”
Since the playground was inspected in 2016, there have repairs completed as well as a weekly custodial monitoring checklist for additional repairs.