Butler Playground Reconstruction Underway
Fewer places to drop off and pick up students while playground undergoes.
Large concrete islands lie to one side of the fenced in spot while a small excavator sits ready to begin digging into the earth adjacent to the Butler Elementary School on White Street where once stood a wooden playground closed by town officials nearly a year ago for being hazardous to children.
And like the mythical Phoenix, the same spot will soon see a new playground reemerge.
"I have some good news to share with you at this time: The site preparation for the playground will start [Friday, Sept. 7]," wrote Butler Elementary Principal Mike McAllister to the school community in an email to parents and students.
The news comes nearly four months after Belmont School Superintendent Dr. Thomas Kingston proclaimed late in May that "[T]he new Butler School Playground is now fully funded."
The $168,000 project – the funds raised by local residents, the town's Capital Budget account and the school budget in addition to several large personal donations – will be used to pay for the $125,000 first phase of construction which includes preparing the site, purchasing the play structure and laying a rubber safety surface with the remaining amount will compete the project's second phase, including fencing, landscaping and other amenities.
The previous wooden play structure was condemned in November last year on short notice by town officials for safety concerns.
The insistence by school officials at the time that the school and the parents, teacher organization take a lead on fund raising and an initial assessment that it could take years before sufficient money could be raised was criticized by the Butler community and people living in the Waverley area.
But it's not all good news at the Butler: "the parking situation will be severely more complex than usual while the work is happening," noted McAllister.
Starting tomorrow, please help us adjust to the following changes:
Because parts of the teachers’ parking lot will be off limits during construction, on-street parking on White Street – normally limited to 1-2 hour parking for residents – will be made available to the teachers.
"As a result, there will be fewer spots available to Butler Parents who normally use them during pickup and drop-off," said McAllister, adding that the school will begin using the nearby St. Luke’s parking lot for loading and unloading.
"If possible, please consider walking or biking your children to school, which will help us reduce the amount of traffic in the Butler neighborhood during this phase of the project," said McAllister.