HFEE selects a new playground project at Village School as their large project donation

The Holmdel Foundation for Educational Excellence (HFEE) has chosen to fund the construction of a brand new playground at Village School as their large project donation to the Holmdel School District.  The playground project was approved by the HFEE Board of Trustees in November.

Holmdel administrators identified the need for an additional playground at Village School given the capacity issues presented by the current playground facilities.  Expanding the recreational space at the school would eliminate the need to break up classes using the playgrounds.

Michelle Sottile and Bryan Rukin, co-chairpersons of the HFEE, were extremely pleased with the selection of this project.  "Play is extremely significant to the physical, social and emotional development of our youngest learners”, Sottile said.  “The authentic experiences that come through play are vital in these formative years.  We know that this new playground will be enjoyed by Village students for years to come.”  Rukin added, “We are proud to work with the district to support this great initiative.” 


Pictured above is one of the playground configuration options presented to the HFEE Trustees

The school formed a playground committee to develop a proposal to present to the HFEE Trustees.  Their work included speaking with current students to understand their interests as they relate to the types of equipment installed and interviewing providers specializing in playground construction. 

Dr. Dineen Seeley, Director of Curriculum and Instruction for Holmdel Schools, who led the committee noted, “The Playground Committee researched and selected pieces that afford play opportunities for individuals as well as small and large groups of children with varied interests and abilities”.

General Recreation Inc. (GRI), a provider with over 40 years of experience located in Newtown Square, PA, was selected to provide the equipment and perform the installation of the playground as a part of the proposal prepared.

The committee and GRI determined that the ideal location for the playground would be behind the school in close proximity to the building providing an extremely safe venue given the distance to roads in all directions.  This location would also make the playground accessible to children while the baseball and softball fields are in use.

Multiple configurations were presented to the HFEE trustees which included different types of equipment and multiple surface options.  Equipment that was accessible to those with disabilities was also a consideration that was included in the proposal.

Members of the HFEE found value in selecting a project that would give students a safe place to be active outside.  Similar to the Cardiovascular Fitness & Wellness Center donated earlier in the year, this project is one that promotes an active and healthy lifestyle for elementary students.

“The completion of the project will complement the opening of our district's new full-day kindergarten program in the fall”, Dr. Seeley added.  “We deeply appreciate the generosity of the Holmdel community and the HFEE for their support of a new playground for our youngest students.”       

The HFEE and the school administrators expect to finalize the equipment and surface selections over the next couple of months.  Thanks to the generous donations from the community, the HFEE is able to commit to over $100,000 for this project.  Ground will be broken in the spring of 2019 with the completion of the project occurring later in the summer.

Given the benefits this playground will provide to the entire community and the size of the investment, residents of Holmdel are encouraged to make donations to the HFEE in order to support this project.  Please visit hfee.org/give to give today!

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