Parks Dept. Promises to Fix 'Dangerous' P.S. 166 Playground This Summer

By Emily Frost on March 22, 2013 6:38am 

UPPER WEST SIDE — After years of parents complaining that their children are breaking bones and getting concussions at the P.S. 166 playground, the Parks Department has promised to fix the play space this summer.

"Repairs at this playground will begin this summer and be completed before the school year resumes in the fall, so as not to affect the children who use it," Parks spokesman Philip Abramson said in a statement.

Abramson said the repairs include "replacing the cobblestones with a smoother surface."

He did not say exactly when the work would start or how long it would take.

The playground at the West 89th Street school was rebuilt in 2000 and since then has caused many injuries, according to parents, who called the play space "dangerous."

Parents and elected officials claim the uneven cobblestone ground on the playground have led to concussions that required ER visits, broken arms, broken legs, head wounds that took stitches to close, bloodied faces and many chipped teeth. 

Rebecca Woodard, vice president of the District 3 Community Education Council, said her daughter went to the school years ago and "had a serious issue on the playground."

Woodard and other parents were glad to get the Parks Department's commitment to fix the space but wish the repairs could begin sooner.

City Councilwoman Gale Brewer and Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer's offices both pledged $300,000 toward the renovation months ago. 

The projected cost of the project has not been determined, Abramson said. 

Shula Warren, Brewer's chief of staff, said the Parks Department assured her it was "going to be working together with the PTA to make [the renovations] a collaborative process."

"A scope of work meeting will soon be held with Council Member Brewer and interested parents to discuss the specifics," Abramson said. 

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