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Playground at Hynes Charter should be up and running in time for school start in August

A playground for kindergartners and first-grade students should be finished by mid-August, facilities consultant Ken Ducote told the June meeting of the Edward Hynes Charter School board.

The playground, estimated to cost $112,760, should be done by August 18, barring “tremendous rain” or other situations beyond the contractor’s control, Ducote said, adding, “We avoided putting burdens on the project.”

Only one contractor — Vista Design Group — bid on the job by the May 19 deadline, Ducote said. In part that’s because contractors, including Vista Design, are “tied up” with the hospital complex being built in Mid-City, he said.

“Because they’re from the neighborhood, on Canal Boulevard, they kind of felt a tie to school, and did want to do some work on the school as a good project,” Ducote said.

Costs were slightly more than expected, but the result will be a quality product that “reflects the community and offers a real nice, neat playground for kids at that age,” he said.

Workers will replace sand with new fill, adjust drainage, add mulch to make certain areas look “neater,” create a tricycle riding area and install a mini-stage, Ducote said. Custom landscaping added $22,000 to the cost.

The “little” playground is the first part of a two-stage expansion of playground areas at Hynes. The other, for grades one through eight, will be built next.

When they’re finished, the two playgrounds will take up a total of 6,000 square feet, according to school officials.

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About Della Hasselle

Della Hasselle, a freelance journalist and producer, reports environmental and criminal justice stories for The Lens. A graduate of Benjamin Franklin High School and the New Orleans Center for Creative Arts, Hasselle lived in New York for 10 years. While up north, she produced and anchored news segments, wrote feature stories and reported breaking news for DNAinfo.com, a hyperlocal news site. Before that, she worked at the New York Daily News. She obtained her master’s degree from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. She can be reached at (917) 304-6121.