Popular School Playground Shuts out Community over Yom Tov
By: Boropark24 Staff
The playground in the courtyard of P.S. 164 Caesar Rodney, located on 14th Avenue, between 42nd and 43rd streets, has been a popular spot for families in the community—at no time more than Shabbos and Yom Tov afternoons—for many years.
But over the first days of Yom Tov, families were disappointed to find the park locked in the non-school hours, when the park is open to the community, as per NYC policy.
A sign on the gate read: “NOTICE: Until further notice, the park will be closed at 2:45, due to lack of maintenance by the public.”
It is unclear whether the school officials have the jurisdiction to unilaterally close the park to the public. The NYC Parks website describes the policy thusly:
“The New York City Department of Parks and Recreation’s (DPR) Schoolyards to Playgrounds Program converts elementary and middle school schoolyards to community playgrounds for use by the general public after school hours, on the weekends, and during school breaks.”
A partner in this conversion has been the Trust for Public Lands, which has invested millions of dollars to enhance these school yards into beautiful playgrounds for the benefit of the entire community.
The playground in question has recently undergone an extensive renovation over a number of years. This shut out, especially during Yom Tov, is especially disappointing to many families in the area.
Boropark24 has learned that local elected officials are working with the school to address their concerns, and will hopefully reach a mutually beneficial resolution.