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Trinity Elementary Fields: Who is in charge?

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Trinity Elementary Fields: Who is in charge?

August 29, 2010 - 04:12

Who is in charge of the maintenance of the Trinity Elementary School fields? Is it the city of New Rochelle or the New Rochelle School District Buildings and Grounds? City Council? BOE?

Who can a person call? Email? Write a letter? Ask? To fix these fields?

At Trinity Elementary there are three fields, only two of which the 875 students are allowed to use. (The other one – the best one -- is owned by the Little League, maybe, not sure.) Much of the time the fields are unusable, sometimes due to bird droppings, but now more due to the rocks and dirt where grass used to be. There are two playgrounds, which are not large enough to accommodate all the children. Therefore, there is a rotation of field or playground. If the fields are unusable, which they often are, the children go to the auditorium.

At Trinity the parking lot is open all the time during non-school hours. People regularly park in the lots overnight, despite signs that threaten towing. This includes commercial vehicles, such as limousines and vans advertising their company names.

With full access to the school grounds, large groups of adults play soccer regularly. The permit requirement is not enforced. Often in evenings and on the weekends teams compete with families and fans in attendance. There is a lot of non-student use of the fields. When the games are especially large, the cars and SUVs even park on the driveway into the playground.

People are willing to have meetings about the fields and discuss their sorry state, but, still, the fields are a disaster. In previous years the administration said that they kept the lots open to be neighborly. But other NR elementary schools have locked lots, including Jefferson and Columbus. Last summer there was construction at Trinity. The lots were closed and the people found parking. Some paid for the spots in their apartment lots temporarily.

At an early Spring PTA meeting at Trinity the topic came up. Parents asked about the fields. They asked for more signs and questioned the policy. Principal Briceno suggested that the PTA raise the $100K needed to put in an artificial turf synthetic field. Despite the high price tag, he said that “if we put our minds to it” that “anything was possible”. There were less than 20 parents in attendance. If we all sold wrapping paper and baked goods it would still take ten years and our children would have graduated out of the school.

What I propose is simple. Can the city or school district, whoever is willing to have sympathy on the Trinity families, order 5 or 10 yards of soil and seed? Rake out the field. Plant and water it and put a flag fence around it till it sprouts and grows. This is regular maintenance of a field. The public has no appetite for another bond vote. This is a simple and normal process to maintain fields. It would not be costly and would be appreciated. Then once that is done, enforce the permit policy to keep the fields usable. At Isaac Young MS large groups would play soccer and cricket. After the fields were redone the permit policy was enforced. Can New Rochelle get these fields in useable condition for our 875 Trinity Elementary students?

Drive by the fields and see for yourself -