Monday, March 21, 2016

Petition To Open Baltic Street Schoolyard In Cobble Hill To The Public During Non-School Hours Currently Circulation Amongst Parents

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An online petition is currently circulation amongst local parents calling on the administration of K497, the School for International Studies and K429, the Brooklyn School of Global Studies, "to open their schoolyard to the public during non-school hours, just as other neighborhood schools do."
The petition currently has over 600 signatures.

Brooklyn School for Global Studies and School for International Studies share a campus with Success Academy at 284 Baltic Street between Court and Smith Street.
The schools' schoolyard was recently renovated to include an artificial turf soccer field, climbing equipment and other fun play features are quite amazing and, according to the petition, would offer a "tremendous opportunities for neighborhood residents to gather and play."
Yet it appears that the schools decided to keep these amenities closed when school is not in session.

The photos of the yard were taken this past week-end. Sure enough, all gates were padlocked. It does seem a pity to not make this amazing amenity available to all children in the neighborhood.

The petition, in part, reads:
"The public schoolyard at K497 and K429 offers unparalleled opportunities for gross motor and creative play. This safe and fun environment would be a tremendous resource and benefit for taxpayers and their children. We, the community, feel we are good neighbors to the school and hope that spirit of being good neighbors will prevail in having the school decide to give the neighborhood access."
It concludes:
"Ours is a reasonable request grounded in precedent."

To access the petition, click here.

What's your opinion on this?
 



5 comments:

Anonymous said...

I'm guessing that there are issues around liability and clean-up/maintenance/opening and closing that have to be addressed. I don't see any mention of that in the petition. It's not like these playgrounds just take care of themselves and the petitioners don't appear to be offering to help.

Anonymous said...

I am wondering where money came from for this very expensive and elaborate do-over. Schoolyard was redone only a few years back and then suddenly again.
It certainly had been open to public non-school hours for many years.

Nancy said...

Can people without kids access the schoolyard under the petition?

Hooplehead said...

Generally, opening the school yard for public use after school hours is at the discretion of the principal. Some schools whose playgrounds were renovated through the Trust for Public Plan are required to be available for public use but these hours can be very limited. This playground was redone because of the Success Academy co-location. Opening it up fo the neighborhood could be a good PR move for them if the principals of the other schools are on board.

Anonymous said...

There IS another side to be shared. Yes, this is the 3rd, most elaborate makeover in recent years-NOT a schoolyard to playground project- that left adjacent neighbors out of the loop who now contend with the noisiest sector until 6pm daily. 5 residences, including 2 unenclosed garden restaurants, (that also face bustling Smith St.) are now inextricably connected to the vast, raised system of nets and slides alongside them, and are overrun by continuous screams/yelling within earshot as well as potential access to their properties. It is a challenging and valid concern for homeowners and business patrons especially if the area should be open to all, 7 days/week. Consider NEVER being able to open your windows, enjoy your backyard or dine in or nearby in relative peace. This is our current daily experience unlike the past. Ideas are welcome to alleviate a significant source of disturbance, e.g. curtail access to the challenge course of nets/slides. Please be respectful and note that we coexisted with both high schools without these pronounced issues even amidst frequent trespassing after school hours. We did not create this dilemma and ask that you place yourself, if for the moment, in the scenario we must now negotiate that adversely affects quality of life, security and livelihood for local business.