Ennis School’s new playground equipment will fit special needs

GEORGETOWN – New playground equipment designed specifically for students with special needs is coming to Howard T. Ennis School.

Indian River School District’s board of education at its Dec. 21 meeting approved more than a quarter of million dollars for the project, which includes removal of existing surfacing and installation of new safety surfacing and playground equipment – with a relocation option.

The proposal was forwarded to the board with recommended approval from the school district’s Building and Grounds Committee.

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Howard T. Ennis School in the spring of 2016 will be getting new playground equipment designed for use by students with special needs.

“It will be all new equipment and it will be specifically designed for special needs children,” said IRSD spokesman Dave Maull. “The existing structure is regular playground equipment and is not really safe for special needs kids. If fact, the school discontinued the use of that equipment over a year ago.”

Some apparatus will be designed for students with severe limitations, Mr. Maull added.

Howard T. Ennis School provides services to all students (preschool through 21 years old) with significant disabilities within the Indian River School District and sending districts that demonstrate a need for highly specialized educational support.

Initial total cost for the project was $249,903.04, plus an additional $9,750 for possible relocation.

“One of the questions that were proposed to us is warranty, and could this playground equipment be relocated,” said Indian River School District Finance Director Patrick Miller at the December board meeting. “And yes, it can be relocated as long as it is performed by the installation contractor / manufacturer contractor. They will design it so that it could be relocated.”

Tentative installation timeframe is early spring, possibly April 2016, Mr. Miller said.

The contractual agreement is with GameTime, c/o Cunningham Recreation, based in Queenstown, MD.

The bulk of the cost will be covered by a $250,000 allocation in Howard T. Ennis School’s current fiscal year budget. The school’s contingency will cover the $8,750 difference, Mr. Miller said.

Fencing upgrade is also included in the project, which received unanimous school board approval.

News Editor Glenn Rolfe can be reached at grolfe@newszap.com.

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