Playground at Armstrong school in Westborough almost finished

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Playground at Armstrong school in Westborough almost finished
The new playground equipment at Armstrong Elementary School is just about ready. (Photo/Maureen Sullivan)

WESTBOROUGH – Armstrong Elementary School students will have to wait a little bit longer before they can use their new playground.

During the School Committee meeting on April 25, Kelly Giacopello, assistant director of buildings and grounds for Westborough Public Schools, presented updates on several projects, including the installation of fully Americans with Disabilities Act-compliant playground equipment.

“I should say it’s about 98% complete,” said Giacopello. “It’s awesome … the kids are going to really love it.”

The equipment should be open for use within the next couple of weeks, she said.

While the playground will be open, Superintendent Amber Bock said the adjacent grass area will be cordoned off until the fall to give the grass a chance to take root and grow.

Funds for this project came from a Town Meeting warrant article and some fundraising, according to Bock.

Another piece of new equipment for Armstrong – a walk-in freezer – should be installed this summer.

Giacopello also provided updates on the roof projects for Mill Pond and Hastings elementary schools; in both cases, they are waiting on cost proposals. Bock said they hope to have numbers ready in time for the fall Town Meeting.

On the topic of the ADA/HVAC project for Hastings, the schools decided to split the bid – one for ADA, the other for HVAC. As with the roof projects, the schools hope to get numbers in time for fall Town Meeting.

School Resource Officer

Det. Charles “Chip” Depolite, the school resource officer, said he’s seen a lot more “normalcy” this school year as opposed to last year.

“It’s been a pleasure,” he said. 

Depolite said he’s noticed an uptick in vaping.

In response, Bock said vaping was a habit some students picked up during the COVID-19 pandemic; Bock said that using a health and wellness approach is helping students to quit vaping.

Depolite said he was happy to see “Competition Day” return to the high school, and he’s taken part in several activities with the students across the district.

Depolite has been taking new officers on tours of the schools.

“I love being a school resource officer, but I don’t want to be the only face,” he said.

Depolite also discussed several initiatives, including a bike safety program, a self-defense class and the sensory truck day recently held at Hastings.

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