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Desolate Playground at South Bronx School to Get New Basketball Court

By Eddie Small | September 8, 2015 4:48pm
 New basketball facilities should spruce up a desolate playground for a group of South Bronx schools.
New basketball facilities should spruce up a desolate playground for a group of South Bronx schools.
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DNAinfo/Eddie Small

CONCOURSE — Students at Success Academy Bronx 2 Middle School should soon have more to do at recess than just hang out on the blacktop.

The Parks Department has pledged to provide the building at 270 E. 167th St., which houses Success Academy, Jordan L. Mott Middle School and the Bronx Writing Academy, with a new basketball court, and the agency will also regularly clean the park and lock it at night, department spokesman Mario Lopez said.

"We are making some very modest enhancements to improve conditions for the students based on requests by the school officials," he said in an email. "We hope in the future to have funding to do a comprehensive reconstruction of the site."

Parks does not yet have an estimated completion date for the project, but Success Academy spokeswoman Ann Powell said she would like to see it finished before the end of the month.

"Let’s hope that it can be done quickly," she said. "Our kids are already in school. If we can have it by the end of September, people would be pretty happy."

School officials and students have been critical of the facility, describing its total lack of playground equipment as a safety hazard.

The lot is part of Mott Playground but designated for student use during the day, according to school officials.

Although it is adjacent to a section of the playground with basketball courts, Success Academy Principal Laura Drechsel said that this area is open to the public and frequently crowded, making it difficult for students to use.

There used to be basketball equipment at the school's section of the park, but this was installed illegally and had to be removed so it did not fall on anyone, according to the Parks Department.