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Barrier-free play space in the works for P.S. 72

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A new, uniquely designed schoolyard is in the works for the students of P.S. 72.

On Monday, January 12, P.S. 72 held a community meeting introducing residents to the plans and designs for their new schoolyard.

“Mayor Bloomberg, in partnership with the Department of Parks and Recreation and Trust for Public Land, chose our school to have a playground built,” said parent coordinator Veronica Brugman. “In this area there will be three schools, and we will be the first.”

The new play area will be in compliance with the schools barrier-free design, permitting access for all students.

The design incorporates ideas from faculty, staff, and student counsel members, to be certain it fits the needs of the school. This opportunity also provided students with an educational introduction into architectural design.

“Our student counsel in the 4th and 5th grades, along with myself, faculty and staff, got involved in working with the architects and people from Parks,” said Janette Hernandez, 5th grade teacher and student counsel coach. “It was an amazing learning experience for them because they become so excited and involved in something that will make a big change for the school and community.”

Though the schoolyard will be home for the students of P.S. 72 during the hours of operation, on weekends, vacations, and afterschool the area will be open for public use.

The design includes flowerbeds, trees, a stage, benches, a track, basketball court, new gates and many more features, with the exception of items the school felt were hazardous to child safety, such as monkey bars.

“We wanted the whole community to see the design because it not just for our children, but the neighborho­od,” said Brugman. “They can come to the playground when school is out and it will be open for them. I think this is a wonderful project because we really don’t have enough playgrounds in this community for the kids.”

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