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Crestwood elementary school has sat on top of a hill (aerial photo) for over 100 years. It’s geography is cartoonish as it is on the top of a hill while the playground, or as the students call it, the “battlefield” lays far below a slopping grassy hill and the street in front of the school drops below quickly to Old Middleton Road. During our Wisconsin winters with ice and snow the students rarely enjoy the playground or the “battlefield” as it is too slippery to return to class and muddy when not slippery. Therefore, the students spend most of the year playing on a tar surface blacktop that doubles as a parking lot for large events. CAPT, Crestwood Ass. Parents And Teachers, has had an ongoing discussion with the district for 10 years to resurface the blacktop, which is cracked and falling apart, and add a playset for the winter months but have been discouraged by the $50,000 to $60,000 estimate quoted to solve this problem.
Doug Pearson, director of building services, came to a CAPT meeting at the beginning of the year to let us know that while we are on the list to have this corrected, other needs of the district and the cost of resurfacing the blacktop is so great that it “just ain’t going to happen”. CAPT has been collecting excess money from our budget for about 10 – 15 years and we have accumulated about $30,000 to pay for a new playset once the blacktop is resurfaced. After that meeting we were all discouraged by the $50 to $60,000 dollars we were again quoted to resurface the area, and it seemed this was not going to happen within the time our children attended elementary school.
But with the spunk and energy educated parents can bring to the schools, one of our own parents, Marisue Horton, was able to research the blacktop issue and discovered that it would not require the
$50,000 previously believed. Instead, a company based in Middleton called DSR Ltd., has developed a new process that uses a mixture of asphalt, polyester filament, and recycled rubber, and gave her a quote of $15,800. This new product is layed directly on top of the old blacktop which greatly reduces the cost and time it takes to renew the surface. To be fair the $15,000 quote only resurfaces the play area and the districts quote included a parking space also. This company has resurfaced areas at U.W. and even a business owned by a Crestwood parent.
Doug Pearson was contacted about this option. He investigated the company and the product and discovered what Ms. Horton had already figured out. This is a GREAT cost saving product for the district. While he gave “approval” for this product he pointed out that our blacktop is still several years away from being done by the district. Nor would the district reimburse us in the future if CAPT elected to pay DRS the $15,000.
To top it off due to the large amount of money being spent the district requires that we give them the check and they then bid the project out to companies.
Is it me or is this the most ludicrous waste of time and energy?
This man is paid to maintain our schools efficiently and effectively. Neither, might I add, has he done. He should be able to research companies, local ones especially, that can keep maintenance spending at our schools lower and more effective. Again, that is his job.
Ms. Horton found the new method, CAPT voted to have half of our savings spent to do this project, and yet we are “giving the district the check” to have them oversee the project! Please! Like MMSD can do this efficiently or timely. How many other projects throughout the district are done the same old way without knowledge of new methods or products that could save the district money? It is an interesting question to ask when they need more money for maintenance. While I will vote for the referendum, I am concerned my tax dollars are again not spent as carefully as say CAPT money. I dare say I will be amazed if my first grader gets the opportunity to play on that playground if the district is in charge. Wish us luck.
Aerial photo from DCI Map