Tartaglione gives Carnell $200,000 grant for schoolyard improvements

State Sen. Christine Tartaglione (D-2nd dist.) last Friday presented a $200,388 grant in support of a green playscape and community development project at Carnell Elementary School, at Frontenac Street and Devereaux Avenue in Oxford Circle.

Coordinated by the Oxford Circle Christian Community Development Association, the project will transform a barren, asphalt-covered yard adjoining Carnell’s two instructional buildings into a recreational and educational space with a climbing wall, play surface and mounds, language path, basketball and soccer goals and other interactive playground equipment.

“This green playscape project is a great example of the power of strong public-private partnerships to create positive change in our communities,” Tartaglione said. “The investment we are making here today will help to create an attractive and useful recreational and learning space that will benefit thousands of children for many years to come.”

The grant was administered through the Department of Community and Economic Development’s Local Share Account, which distributes a portion of slot machine license fees paid by casinos operating in Philadelphia. OCCCDA executive director Pearl Wang-Herrera, Carnell principal Hilderbrand Pelzer III, Community Design Collaborative director of design Heidi Segall Levy and state Rep. Jared Solomon took part in the check presentation ceremony.

“We are so thankful for the DCED LSA funding and are excited to transform the current empty asphalt lot to provide a playground to engage the 900 students at Carnell with creative activities and a safe environment,” Wang-Herrera said.

The conceptual plans include a centrally located mural on the ground and a walking path with images that celebrate the cultural diversity of the student population. Two basketball goals and two soccer goals will be installed with a 15-foot fence bordering the court. Recycled rubber surfaces and mounds will help to demarcate play areas dedicated to younger and older pupils.

In addition, a rock wall for climbing and surrounding play surface will enable students to strengthen their body coordination, while ADA-approved ramps and pathways will provide full accessibility to the facility. The total cost of the project will be about $1 million. ••