OUTDOOR PLAY AND LEARNING (OPAL) AT BROWN SCHOOL
In order to accommodate a school population of 8, 9, and 10 year olds, the Board of Education adopted an outdoor project. The Brown School campus was designed in the late 1960s to serve 6th, 7th, and 8th graders. As a result, an appropriate play area, with respective structures, was not necessary for that specific population. Acknowledging this deficit in anticipation of serving 4th and 5th graders in September 2019, the Board of Education approved funding for the Outdoor Play and Learning (OPAL) project.
The first phase of this project was approved based on an outdoor play concept, anticipating access needed on the exterior grounds for recess. This capital project, approved in December 2017, authorized the clearing of trees and open space to create lines of sight for appropriate supervision of students during recess.
Concurrently, a playground committee, comprised of 4th and 5th grade teachers, special educators, physical education teachers and administrators, in addition to a landscape architect, worked collaboratively, consulting with current 4th and 5th grade students, to present a specific plan for Brown School which became the Outdoor Play and Learning (OPAL) project.
Although the final designs are currently under consideration, the Board of Selectmen advanced funding for the plan to the Capital Improvement Program Committee (CIP) on October 11, 2018. The CIP Committee will make its final recommendations on funding for capital projects, including OPAL, to the Board of Selectmen and Board of Finance, by February 1, 2019. A schedule of the CIP meetings can be found here.
The following slide show was presented to the BOE Facilities Committee and full Board of Education in October. The itemized costs of the various features of the OPAL project can be found here.