Say, why is there crime-scene tape wrapped around a playground attraction?
posted at 5:51 pm on January 31, 2013 by Ed Morrissey
Better yet, why will Fairfax County, Virginia spend $135,000 to trash a $35,000 gift from the PTA? Rest assured … it’s for the children:
The playground structure is brand new and a child’s dream: Soaring metal beams and a tantalizing spiderweb of climbing net. It sits outside Stratford Landing Elementary School, but all the students can do is stare at it from afar.
Behind the yellow caution tape fettering the apparatus is what parents describe as reams of bureaucratic red tape threatening the equipment, which was built with $35,000 from countless Parent Teacher Association silent auctions and bake sales.
Although parents worked with the Fairfax County Public Schools facilities department, purchased the equipment, hired a contractor and had the playground ready for recess, the school system suddenly deemed the play equipment too dangerous. Since Nov. 30 it has been off-limits, say parents.
Never mind that the same equipment is installed at more than 1,200 parks and schools across the country, including a public park in Fairfax County.
The school district is taking responsibility for the “miscommunication” that led parents to believe that they could determine for themselves what was safe for their children. Fairfax County says they will fund a replacement for the same climbing system they have installed elswhere, but that will cost taxpayers an extra $135,000 to replace a $35,000 playground attraction:
The facilities department says the new equipment must go. But to make amends, the county is offering to revamp the Stratford Landing playground, using about $135,000 from the county’s coffers.
Why is it costing a hundred thousand dollars more to replace the structure? Maybe the county would be better off letting the PTA handle the cash instead of the county.
By the way, this is the scary death trap that has FCPS shrieking:
The dark, foreboding sky in the background is a nice touch, no?