The students and faculty have waited one year and eight months for the playground to open, and another three weeks is being added onto the end of this time. The playground hasn’t been open all this time because the school has been constructing a pool and making the new art building.
There are two main reasons for the delay. The first is because custom-built drains for the playground haven’t been delivered yet. The second reason is that the entrance to the playground from the gym area hasn’t been completed yet. Due to these delays, they playground can’t be handed over until February 22. However, depending on the weather, it could be even later.
Mr. Jim Heynderickx, who is in charge of the construction project, said that the builders still need custom-made stainless steel aqua drains that will drain the water off of the playground and into the city sewers. The drains are supposed to arrive in the first week of February, and they will be installed when they arrive. Even though the drains will be placed in the first week of February, the asphalt for the main play court can’t be laid over where the drains will be or they won’t work properly. Also, the asphalt needs time to dry, so that is another reason that the playground can’t open right after the drains are put into place. The drying time for the asphalt depends on how much it rains after it is laid.
Another reason the playground won’t open on time is because the entrance to the playground from the gym area isn’t finished yet. To get to the playground, you need to go across the blue gym balcony and then up a flight of stairs that is about one meter high. Then you would go through a set of motorized doors to get onto the playground. Where that little staircase is, there is a bit of the construction site that is currently exposed, so it wouldn’t be safe for students and faculty to go through that area. A piece of glass that is meant to cover this exposed spot hasn’t arrived yet, but it is meant to arrive in the first week of February. Another problem is that the motorized doors that are meant to lead out to the playground are not ready for use yet. This problem has a temporary solution though, because the builders can just install temporary doors until the motorized one arrives.
Mr. Heynderickx and the construction team apologize for the delay, but are focusing on the long term. “The smart thing to do is let them do the job right instead of trying to do it too fast, so we apologize and it’s unfortunate we can’t get it all handed over by January 29 but that playground is going to be out there for 40 years or more…”
The builders need time to get the drains and the asphalt down and the glass doors installed safely so that there aren’t any problems later on at the school. The school has to take these precautions to make sure that everything runs smoothly in the future.