UPPER EAST SIDE, NY — Students at a public school that serves the Upper East Side and East Harlem celebrated the opening of a brand-new playground at the school this week.
The new playground at PS 77 and PS 198M, located on Third Avenue and East 95th Street, features upgraded play equipment, new safety tiles and additional seating. Improvements were funded with $500,000 from the 2017 participatory budgeting cycle, with local City Councilmember Ben Kallos chipping in an additional $100,000 to finish the project.
"Children and adults alike are getting a lesson in democracy as they get to enjoy the playground for which they voted and campaigned," Kallos said at a ribbon cutting for the new playground. "Thank you to the parents and students age 11 and older who voted for this new playground and saw it built while they were still students at the school."
Construction on the playground started in July 2018 and wrapped up in just 11 months, city officials said.
The full scope of work done at the site included:
- Removing existing play equipment and replacing it with smaller features that will make moving through the space easier for children;
- Removing a planting bed, a concrete curb and vegetation;
- Installing new safety surface tiles;
- Preserve existing benches within the play area;
- Install new seating along the school building's existing masonry wall.
"We are fortunate and grateful to have such a beautiful and joyful outdoor play space. It now mirrors the work that goes on inside our building,"P.S. 198M Principal Katharine DeBenedictis said in a statement.