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Reader Sue writes in (after the jump…) with an update on the Maury Elementary Schoolyard Initiative. We covered the schoolyard closing at this link. For more information on the initiative, visit this link.
“I am writing to provide you with an update on the planning and implementation of a safe, healthy, sustainable and economically viable redevelopment of the Maury Elementary Schoolyard. The MSI team includes dozens of Maury parents and Rosemont neighbors, and a team of committed engineering, design and legal professionals. We have worked hard this summer and happily report lots of progress with planning, design and cementing our partnership with ACPS and the City of Alexandria. Thank you for the enormous support we have received so far.
The Short Term: The Maury Schoolyard is currently undergoing emergency improvements to make the play area safe for the kids. ACPS, with planning and design support from Maury Schoolyard Initiative, is currently installing sod and making some improvements to the onsite drainage. Additionally, two trees were removed due to their poor health and danger from dropping limbs. The work will be complete on Friday, but the grass field will remain closed until October 1st so the grass can take root.
The Long Term: Planning continues for more storm water management on and off site. We have a commitment from the City of Alexandria T&ES department for offsite storm water management, behind the school and along Russell Road. The consultants at LandDesign and Bowman Consulting are preparing a grading plan for submission in September. This is our first step toward permits. It will be a comprehensive plan detailing the elements included, and fingers crossed we will have approval by February.
The Plan: In September we will continue to refine our plans for the site, and will have opportunities for community input. The Gensler plan was a vision, and it has been modified to reduce costs and permitting complications. The new plan will include a large garden and outdoor learning area, an all weather field, traditional and natural play areas, a walking path and shade area.
The Funding: The budget is still being built, but we know the cost will be shared by ACPS and private donations. MSI is pursuing grants, individual gifts, inkind donations from contractors and more. Our fundraising team has worked hard this summer making preliminary contacts so once we have the plans and budget, we will be able to reach out and raise the funds. We are working closely with the Maury PTA executive board, Maury Principal Ms. Jackson, members of the School Board and City Council for a united effort to accomplish this project.
NEXT UP: Join us in the library at Maury on Tuesday September 23rd, 7:00pm for an open discussion and update.
Thank you for your time, we look forward to a exciting and successful year together.”