Guess How Much the Crozet Playground Cost?

After last week’s conversation about Crozet Elementary’s piddly new playground, I asked for more information from the County of Albemarle about the associated cost and rationale. (Bolding mine) Who wants to volunteer for a committee?

My only comment for now – why weren’t any kids consulted?


Your concerns regarding the new Crozet Playground were brought to my attention by Barbara Massie Mouley, ACPS School Board Member. The previous Crozet Elementary School playground was established in 1991. By 2010 it had reached its useful life and was identified though an assessment process for replacement. The Building Services Department is very fortunate to be able to combine our Capital Improvement Program (CIP) funds with funds from the Albemarle County Parks and Recreation Department, which allowed us to replace three play sets this year; Agnor Hurt Elementary’s playground equipment was recently replaced at a cost of $120,000 and Scottville Elementary’s, with an additional 2 – 5 unit for their Bright Stars Program, will be completed next week at a cost of $127,000. Crozet Elementary’s playground set was replaced at a cost of $120,000.

The set of components for the Crozet playground was decided upon by a Committee established by the previous school principal. The Committee consisted of Karen Marcus, previous Principal, Bob Crickenberger from the Albemarle County Parks and Recreation Department, the consultant from the Playground Equipment vendor and one staff member from Crozet Elementary School. The final design was reviewed and agreed upon by the Committee and the new Principal, Gwedette Crummie.

All of the components of the new play set at Crozet Elementary are designed for the same age group, and can accommodate 77 children. The set consists of 22 components plus the web. The set is constructed to allow children to have a total body workout through the different play components that include three levels with active play components on each level. The previous set could accommodate only 30-40 children and consisted of only 11 play components.

The size of the play set for Crozet Elementary was determined by the school’s capacity which is 380 students. Brownsville’s school capacity is 716, so the Brownsville set was designed for 145 children in order to accommodate the school’s larger capacity. The cost of the Brownsville set was $121,000 and did not include demolition costs for an old play set.

There is room to expand the current Crozet Elementary play set at the rear of the main unit, and we would welcome an opportunity to work with a Committee, if external funding sources can be obtained, to expand the play area. The Parks and Recreation Department will be touching up the grading and reseeding the area, and the Building Services Department will be repaving some of the black top area. The play structure is a part of the playground and when used in conjunction with the other amenities at the school, such as the swings, the improved soccer field and the black top area, there should be room for all of the students to enjoy their recess period at Crozet Elementary School.

I hope this information is helpful and provides insight into the decision making process for the new play set. I will be happy to meet with you, or a Committee, to discuss the possibility of adding other play components to the existing play set at Crozet Elementary School. I appreciate your interest in our schools and encourage you to contact me on 434-975-9340, or via email at, if I can be of any further assistance.

Joseph P. Letteri, CFM
Director of Building Services
Albemarle County Public Schools
2751 Hydraulic Road
Charlottesville, VA 22901
PH: 434-975-9340
FX: 434-975-9341

One final note regarding the previous comment about recess being only 20 minutes …

Update 13 September 2010: Dannika Lewis at NBC 29 has a story today, inspired by these posts.

Update 14 September 2010: The HooK picks up the story as well: Cash-strapped County springs $360K for playgrounds

Part 1 – Crozet Elementary’s Piddly Playground
Part 3- – More on the Crozet Playground – This time with invoices!

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