The Kings Park Board of Education has authorized spending $100,000 in emergency cash for the recent repair of a sinkhole that developed last month at the R.J.O. Intermediate School playground.
The 12-foot deep and six-foot wide sinkhole, which was discovered on a Sunday afternoon, caused emergency personnel from the Kings Park Fire Department as well as police to react.
Assistant Plant Facilities Administrator Billy Smith along with Assistant Superintendent for Finance and Administration Phil Kenter assessed the damage and laid out the remedial plan.
The emergency repair prompted a review of the original site plans for the area, which indicated that the newer of three drywells that were in place had collapsed. The plans indicated that a second drywell was there but in actuality, was not.
“One drywell was doing the work of three and it was over worked and couldn’t hold what it needed to hold,” said Kenter.
After reviewing the condition of the existing drainage set up the district found that further repair would be needed. Four drywells, a septic tank and three leaching pools were installed.
Kids were not allowed on the playground until the area was inspected and deemed safe. The entire area has now been repaved and lines are being redrawn for the playground.
“The whole thing in my mind was safety. Safety was paramount in my mind. I would not be able to sleep knowing we replaced one and not knowing the condition of the others,” said Kenter.
The district is planning on developing an ongoing schedule of maintenance.
“We have drawings so we can locate where they should be. But what the drawings said and what we did were two different things,” said Kenter.
R.J.O. is the oldest school in the district was built in 1929.
According to the district the money will be pulled from the ground maintenance budget under the fuel line.
“We are fortunate we had some fund balance,” said District Superintendent Susan Agruso.