Washington Elementary School playground in need of repair

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(ABC 6 News) – Parents want a new playground at Washington Elementary, but they don’t think they should have to pay for it.

They are asking RPS to cover the $137,000 to repair the flooring of the playground.

With the estimated cost in six figures, parents have been talking with RPS for a solution.

“We wanna work together, and we just want the communication to be clear, and we do continue planning on following up with them at future meetings,” parent Lauren Oien said.

Lauren said Superintendent Kent Pekel hopes to implement the new playground updates into the budget for the 2024-2025 school year.

She is worried in the future when the floor deteriorates enough, the existing equipment would need to be torn down and it would cost more money in the long run.

In a statement to ABC 6 News, Mamisoa Knutson, Director of Communications for RPS said:

“We take the safety of our students very seriously and want to address a recent false claim that has been made about the Washington Elementary playground being unsafe for student use. This is not true. Our health and safety coordinator has inspected and confirmed that it passes all safety standards. We agree that the playground does need updates, but that does not mean the equipment is unsafe to use.

There has been a longstanding tradition of expecting elementary school communities to pay for playground renovations. We acknowledge that this is neither efficient nor equitable. Superintendent Pekel will be reviewing this process when we redesign our funding and staffing models as part of our strategic plan next year and look at reallocation of funds to achieve this.”

Rochester Public Schools