(BINGHAMTON, N.Y.) — Mayor Richard C. David on Wednesday announced work is scheduled to begin Aug. 17 on the rebuild of OurSpace at Recreation Park, the fully accessible playground that was destroyed during a June 1 fire.
“The day after a fire destroyed OurSpace, we made a commitment to rebuild,” said Mayor David. “OurSpace means so much to so many Binghamton residents, and we have been reminded of that by the incredible outpouring of support from the community since the fire. Let this rebuilding serve a symbol of unity and resilience in uncertain times.”
Construction work will be performed by skilled laborers and hired contractors to comply with COVID-19 social distancing protocols. The original OurSpace architect, Play By Design, of Ithaca, is serving as project manager on the rebuild.
The work is expected to take seven days to complete and is weather dependent.
In the spirit of the original build, skilled professionals — such as carpenters or construction contractors — are invited to donate their time in rebuilding. Interested skilled laborers should contact email@example.com to volunteer.
Due to COVID-19 social distancing protocols, a wider community build with unskilled volunteers is not feasible.
As of Wednesday morning, more than $265,000 had been raised to support rebuilding efforts in the official donation fund managed by the Community Foundation for South Central New York.
The estimated cost of the rebuild project is approximately $860,000, funded exclusively through insurance reiumbursement and donations. In 2016, the original cost of the playground build was more than $1 million, including in-kind labor and materials.
The playground was insured, and the City is awaiting a final determination on reimbursement from the insurance company.
OurSpace opened in June 2016 as the largest fully accessible playground in New York State. More than 900 volunteers contributed about 5,000 hours of work to help build the playground.
The June 1 fire was deemed to be set intentionally, following an investigation by the Binghamton Fire Marshal’s Office. The fire is being investigated as an arson by the Binghamton Police Detective Bureau. Anyone with information is encouraged to call the Binghamton Police at (607) 772-7080. Tipsters may remain anonymous.
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