Mashashimuet Playground Work Progressing

A view of the playground construction site as of Monday, November 19. Christine Sampson photo

The late arrival of new equipment has caused a bit of a delay in the reconstruction of the Mashashimuet Park playground, but contractors have been able to make good time and the end is in sight, according to Gregg Schiavoni, president of the Parks and Recreation Association of Sag Harbor, the organization that runs the park across the street from Otter Pond.

Originally, work was to commence October 9 and conclude within six weeks, around late November.

“Hopefully we’ll be done, at the latest, the second week of December, which is not that far off,” Mr. Schiavoni said in an interview Friday. “I think it’s going as planned, but because we had a later start than we wanted, that’s why it’s this far into the season.”

Volunteers will be needed within the next two weeks when shipments of wood fiber chips arrive, and will need to be manually spread around the new playground within wooden borders that will surround the new playground equipment.

“By code, it has to be 12 inches thick,” Mr. Schiavoni said. “Anyone in the community is more than welcome to help. We’ll try to get it done as quickly as possible.”

Some of the equipment, such as new swings and an “ocean dome,” are almost ready to go, but contractors haven’t installed the actual swings or netting because they don’t want anyone attempting to play on them yet. Some of the old playground equipment also remains at Mashashimuet Park.

The park board still needs to raise about $125,000 to complete the funding campaign for the project, but has a line of credit with Bridgehampton National Bank should it need to fall back on it. A “Pints for the Park” fundraiser, sponsored by The Corner Bar and Montauk Brewing Co., recently raised $5,000 for the park and was matched by Gregory Ferraris, owner of the accounting firm GNFerraris in Sag Harbor.

Representatives of Mashashimuet Park are planning to visit morning program at Sag Harbor Elementary School soon to update the children on the playground’s progress and show them pictures. Mr. Schiavoni recalled the students’ involvement in the design process a few years ago, submitting drawings and wish lists for the playgrounds of their dreams.

“Without a doubt” it will be the playground that Sag Harbor and its neighboring communities deserve, he said.

“It’s going well,” Mr. Schiavoni said. “It’s been a long time that we’ve been discussing this. I’m glad to see it finally coming to an end.”