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School park christening - Patrick F. Daly/PS 15 playgrounds to open May 6

Next week will mark the official opening of the Patrick F. Daly/P.S. 15 playgrounds, a collaborative effort that turned a humdrum schoolyard into a vibrant community space.

The $1 million project features two playgrounds on Sullivan Street, one on the Van Brunt Street side and one on the Richards Street side.

Beginning May 6, the playgrounds will be open to the public.

The larger playground, on the Van Brunt side of the school, located at 71 Sullivan Street, will feature a vegetable garden, basketball courts, multi-purpose open space, and playground equipment. Surrounding it is a track.

The Richards Street side is home an early childhood playground, for kids age two to five.

The project was a joint effort by the city’s Department of Parks and Recreation, the Trust for Public Land, a national conservation organization, and Good Shepherd Services, a social service and youth development organization.

“We are just so very proud of the work that students grades three, four and five, did last year in working with the Trust for Public Land and learning how to be junior architects and design a playground that can be utilized by the entire community at large,” said P.S. 15 Principal Peggy Madison.

She said her students are “very conscientious about the environment,” and the playground’s design reflects that.

The playgrounds will be open to the community from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. and weekends and holidays from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Madison said. Hours for the fall and winter have not yet been finalized.

Through its Playgrounds Program, the Trust for Public Land (TPL) began working with the school in early 2007, conducting participatory design sessions with the kids.

“Here you have the end users participating in the process,” said Susan David, TPL’s director of public affairs. Her organization raised one third of the funding, and the rest was contributed by the Department of Education.

The Patrick F. Daly/P.S. 15 Community Playground is the 16th of 25 community parks being created citywide through TPL’s Playgrounds Program.

An opening day ceremony, complete with refreshments, is planned at the school on Tuesday, May 6, at 10:30 a.m.

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