Thinking About the Long Term
As you move from schematic design to design development, it is important to consider how phasing and long term maintenance needs will affect the design.
Every school and PAC has a different budget and timeline, which can make it challenging to implement entire playgrounds at once. Using a kit of parts model, elements can be installed individually, or implemented in phases. This allows PAC committees and school boards to purchase additions to schoolyards in a way that works with fluctuating budgets. This will allow a richer play environment to be developed, with new features added as funds become available. In addition, existing elements can be upgraded to increase functionality and teaching opportunities as funds become available.
The second key consideration when thinking about the long term is maintenance. It is critical to properly select all planting and building materials. Think about choosing items that have high play and education value combined with low maintenance requirements. Be aware that new planting will require extra maintenance and watering at the beginning. You may want to coordinate with your team to put together a volunteer maintenance schedule. Some plant maintenance may also be incorporated into the learning objectives for outdoor studies.