MONTCLAIR, N.J. – Montclair Community Pre-K (MCPK) administrators and board members announced today that the project to rebuild the program’s playground is on track to be completed by September.
“The renovation of the Montclair Community Pre-K’s playground is moving full-steam ahead,” said MCPK Executive Director Amy Dorr. “The Montclair Township Council and the Montclair Board of Education have been very supportive of our renovation plans. Now that we have received all necessary approvals, we are moving into the next phase of the project.”
“The Discovery Playscape will mark a new era at Montclair Community Pre-K,” said MCPK Board President Sean Flynn. “It will reflect many of the great characteristics people have always associated with our school – an innovative, engaging place that welcomes everyone in the heart of the Montclair community. I want to thank our administrators, educators, donors and community members who are working to make this project a reality.”
The construction phase of the project began with a demolition day sponsored by Structural, a repair and maintenance services company. Each year, Structural BUILD (Believe, Unite, Inspire, Lead, and Discover) teams from around the country volunteer at local non-profits. The demolition project was brought to the team by MCPK parents Melba Fidalgo and Jonathan Lee, and was facilitated by Structural’s Christine Michelson and Eric Lawrence. “The BUILD team was pleased to be involved in this exciting community project,” said Michelson. “We look forward to returning to MCPK in the fall to see the finished project.” Installation of new surfacing, grading and drainage infrastructure will also be a part of the construction phase.
In May, MCPK officials completed a minor site review with the township Planning Board and presented the renovation plans to the Historic Preservation Commission. The feedback from both groups was overwhelmingly positive, and all approvals have been met to begin construction.
The renovated playground will be both accessible and challenging for children three to five years at every level of physical and social development. Once complete, the playground will include six distinctive outdoor play areas (Adventure Playground, Artists Nook, Discovery Garden, Exploration Yard, Performance Grove, and Edible Garden.) These areas have been designed to create endless opportunities for children to run, climb, build, tinker, experiment, create, and invent. The new playground will also include a five-foot wide concrete path, around and through the playground. This path will provide a safe space for bikes, scooters, strollers, and walkers; and make the new playground truly accessible for all children and families, especially those with limited mobility.
“Our playground plans go beyond the accessibility guidelines of most community playgrounds, said Dorr. “We want to provide an inclusive and meaningful play space where all children feel safe, engaged, and included.”
Major construction will be complete by the end of August, and the playground will open for the beginning of the new school year in September. Later phases of the project will continue throughout the year, including exciting community build events in August and September. The Montclair community will be invited to a grand opening celebration in the fall.
Fundraising efforts for the project are ongoing, with many local businesses and community members joining as playground sponsors. For more information about the project, visit www.mcpkplayground.com.