More on the Crozet Playground – This Time with Invoices! – Part 3

The Crozet Elementary playground story continues. (Background) I asked Joe Letteri, the Director of Buliding Services for the Albemarle County Public Schools to tell us exactly how much the playground cost. He responded quickly; his email and the cost sheets are below.

Thank you, Joe, for sending this to on.

I feel a bit like I’m beating a dead (expensive) horse by continuing to post about this, but if we the people don’t step up and ask questions of “our” government, things like this will continue to happen.

This is the vendor – All Recreation, Inc. – referenced in the email and the invoices.

The email from Albemarle County (my questions below):

As you requested in your September 14th email, I have gathered the information regarding the purchase of the components for the Crozet and the Brownsville play sets. Attachment 1 is the invoice from the Crozet play set, which shows the components purchased and the corresponding drawings. Attachment 2 is the invoice and the corresponding drawings for the Brownsville play set. Each shows the different components attributed to each school.

As I was reviewing the information, I wanted to share the following that may be useful in your review:

•         The Brownsville set was priced in 2008 and ordered in 2009 while the Crozet set was priced and installed this year. There has been a significant increase (17% according to the vendor) in the cost of play ground equipment since that time due to the increased prices of plastic and metal.
•         We did obtain very favorable pricing for the Crozet play set by partnering with Fairfax County Public Schools (noted as FCPS on the attachment), the largest school division in the Commonwealth. The Crozet set was installed using FCPS pricing, and the vendor used was the lowest bidder.
•         The Brownsville site did not require the demolition and removal of an existing set, which accounted for $8,000 of the cost of the Crozet set.

It is important to note that the size of each play set is determined by the capacity of the school. Since Brownsville’s capacity is 336 more students than Crozet’s capacity, Brownsville would require more components to accommodate the additional students.

Since there is room to expand the current Crozet Elementary play set, we would welcome an opportunity to work with a Committee, if external funding sources can be obtained, to add additional components to the play area.   After you have had an opportunity to review the attached information, please let me know if you have additional questions, or if you would like to begin the process of forming a Committee to explore options for adding other play components to the existing play set at Crozet Elementary School.

Please do not hesitate to contact me at 434-975-9340, or via email at [email protected], should you have any questions regarding the attached information.

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
[email protected]

Brownsville Elementary’s Playground costs

Crozet Elementary’s Playground costs

Part 1 – Crozet Elementary’s Piddly Playground

Part 2 – Guess How Much the Crozet Playground Cost?

My questions:

– How many vendors bid on this?
– What is the “List + 20%” represent? Installation?
– Why did Brownsville’s cost the same as the Crozet one? I still don’t see how a playground twice the size cost the same (minus the referenced 17%)
– Why not procure a playground set for 336 kids +20%? Why build to a minimum? Why not build and anticipate some increase in student population?

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3 Replies to “More on the Crozet Playground – This Time with Invoices! – Part 3”

  1. Ok, so I only read the emails, and never check comments on the website. But, the two things I am dying to say, are: 1) The swingset is still in place and there are 2 playground areas @ Crozet. 2) Whatever happened to the “volunteer option”? When I was growing up, playgrounds that were more than a swingset, slide, monkey bars, and teeter totter were built by parent volunteers.

    And have we considered that the lack of pre-determined play ideas, aka playground equipment, might stimulate our childrens imaginations? In this day and age of Xbox and Wii, our children are not the most imaginative players.

    Just some food for thought…

  2. Interesting links (and solid follow up questions). We learned a new job designation: recreational specialist. Does the job come with a company-issued jumpsuit? Or, is tie required?

    As I understand it, there were two “Custom Playmaker”‘s installed. (No model number is given. Why not?) The ‘playmakers’ were listed around 45,000$ and 35,000$ . 20% (15000$) of the 75000$ is designated for labor.

    Did the rim and net cost 236$?

    And finally, a one year 17% spike occurred in playground equipment inflation, which was fortunately offset by generously-granted “Fairfax County pricing”.

    I fear to look at the other bids. To a rational citizen, it still looks like playground installation is the best business to be in.

  3. yes, this really makes me chuckle as i have a 2 1/2 year old daughter who loves playgrounds and all their accouterments. what she really loves is the other children and a sense or hope to “play”. the other trappings are insignificant. a little sand, some mulch, or just a beautiful smile and a pensive “do ya wanna play?”
    and i am her parent and the government and the people who work for it are to provide a service to the public. a thousand dollar picnic table and a fifteen hundred dollar bench.a ten thousand dollar wood carpet or what us peons call “mulch”. come on folks you have to be creative in hard times and my fridge ain’t saying it’s all that tough yet but being frugal about some things in life ain’t all bad. is there a wood shop over at the high school? do the different schools communicate among themselves? being thrifty is a good way to tap into your community. i just came back from Lawrence,Kansas where there is a large food co-op the size of “Whole Foods”. they are funding a school garden. the garden is in the school yard and has year-round funding from different businesses and organizations. they have paid year round staff who coordinate student volunteers. this is an active and vibrant garden that grows good food and looks beautiful. their tool shed was donated by some big building supply outlet. we have one over the mountain on 64, i can’t remember the name. the fence is donated by Lowe’s. a split rail fence. somebody else donated the drip irrigation. and on and on. these kind of things build community. even if the students were to fund raise. or the parents. how can we be creative and get to know one another. even across schools like western albemarle shops helping to build or design a playground. interview the children and ask them what they want.

Something to say?