Pickleball court? Skate park ? Seaside Park assesses options for former school playground – Lavallette-Seaside Shorebeat

The old playground at Seaside Park Elementary School. (Credit: Google Maps)

Seaside Park officials, at a Thursday night business meeting, began weighing the best uses for the gated playground at the former Seaside Park Primary School.

The park, which spans the block between 3rd and 4th avenues, consists of a playground whose equipment has deteriorated and no longer complies with safety protocols, plus a macadam surface that can be used as a field basketball or similar. Like the playground equipment, the surface has deteriorated to some extent and may need to be completely replaced. But with space at a premium on a barrier island and a wide range of demands for recreational opportunities, it looks like the future of the property will be the result of an agreement between the borough council and the district school board. not operational.

“The equipment there has become so dilapidated that it’s taped and locked,” Mayor John Peterson said. “We are looking at how much it would cost to dismantle it and take it away. We’ve met with the school board officials and the company administrator, and their engineer is going to make concept plans. »

Peterson said there are many calls to install pickleball courts as the sport grows, with people from more age groups participating. But there have also been calls over the years to establish a skateboard park on the island. Although no decision on the site has been officially made, officials plan to install new playground equipment and a new use for the paved part of the property.

“There’s a huge area there, but the tarmac needs a lot of work,” Peterson said. “In the concept plans, I think one of our ideas was to keep the pickleball court so you could take the nets out and have events there.”

Seaside Park Elementary School, June 2022. (Photo: Daniel Nee)

Seaside Park Elementary School, June 2022. (Photo: Daniel Nee)

Councilman Frank “Fritz” McHugh said the project will need community support, especially since the installation of a pickleball court or a skate park – both of which will require construction , lighting and other amenities – may need to be approved by planning. plank.

“We definitely need a public meeting — a special joint meeting for that alone, and the neighborhood, everyone, can have their say,” Councilman Matthew DeMichele agreed. “Macadam can be expensive on its own.”

The school closed after the 2009-2010 school year in a round of consolidation. The Board of Education still exists, largely due to ownership of the building as well as to authorize send-receive relationships with other districts. The commission and the council remain two separate government entities that, presumably, should share the costs of any project.

“In terms of money, we just talked about splitting – does that mean 50-50, 70-30 – that has to be determined,” Peterson said. “The day will come when the lawyer will step in, whether it is a registered easement from one public entity to another. We just talked about concepts.

Earlier this year, the board authorized an expenditure of $5,000 for the borough engineer to develop proposal estimates, with the school board authorizing a similar figure for the same purpose. With the use cases for the property being somewhat restricted, a determination of the condition of the tarmac surface, public feedback and ultimately negotiation with the school board will determine the future of the site.

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