Mills Lawn School Playground Update
Like many Yellow Springers, I already have several memories tied up with the Mills Lawn playground. It is where, then school board president, Aida Merhemic, first met my family after I interviewed her for a class I was taking. It is where my family has had the opportunity to meet and get to know many other families in our Village. It is where countless other families and visitors have had similar and heartfelt experiences. The Mills Lawn playground has been the hub for families to congregate and meet up with friends.
So when our playground was cut in half by one of our most beloved, towering maple tree a few weeks ago, it stirred up emotions in all of us. All of those memories and serendipitous encounters, took a blow along with the playground. Given that this place means so much to so many of us, I thought it may be important to take a moment and update the community on our progress in restoring the playground.
Within two days of the tree falling, we were able to remove it working with our insurance provider. Since then, cleanup and restoration has been a lot slower. Our insurance company asked us to contact Big Toy, the manufacturer of the equipment and ask them to give their professional opinion on whether the equipment was repairable or needed to be replaced.
Naturally, we would prefer to repair it, but within a few days of exchanging pictures and emails, Big Toy concluded that the structure was not safe enough to be repaired and that replacement would be necessary. Our insurance claim adjuster wants Big Toy’s opinion in a formal written letter. For the last week we have been waiting on that letter. Once the letter is sent from Big Toy to our insurance provider, we should know the exact monetary value of the playground and be given the compensation from our insurers to cover the replacement costs. .
In deciding what the new playground should look like, we have organized a committee of local parents, community members, teachers, and students to help us make those important choices. The current playground was purchased and installed by the community; it would makes sense for the design of our next playground to be made with significant input from our community as well. The committee is charged with considering color scheme, materials, theme, size, safety features, handicap accessibility, environmental impact, and many other factors. We are scheduled to meet this week and next. Needless to say, having this project completed by the time school starts will be no small feat! We will do our best, but may ultimately be impacted by the timing of the manufacturer(s) and insurance provider.
Thank you to all who have reached out and offered ideas and help in the clean-up effort. Your kind, community-minded spirit is greatly inspiring and appreciated.
YS Schools Superintendent