(BINGHAMTON, N.Y.) — Mayor Richard C. David joined members of the City’s Parks & Recreation Department on Thursday to discuss next steps for the rebuilding of OurSpace, the fully accessible playground destroyed by an arson Monday, and outline how the community can help.
“The City has received an incredible number of calls and emails in recent days from people and businesses eager to help rebuild OurSpace any way they can,” said Mayor David. “I join the Parks & Recreation Department and everyone involved in building this playground in thanking you from the bottom of our hearts. This community will not be defined by the fire that destroyed this playground, but by how we came together in the days after to rebuild it. That remains our focus.”
Mayor David provided the following OurSpace updates at a Thursday press conference:
- As of Thursday morning, official fundraising efforts to rebuild OurSpace had raised more than $120,000 in donations from individuals, businesses and organizations.
- The City has received more than 70 inquiries from residents, businesses and other organizations interested in donating, volunteering or fundraising for the rebuild of OurSpace.
- Individuals and businesses interested in donating to support the rebuilding efforts should use the official Community Foundation for South Central New York donation page: http://donorswhocare.com/ourspace/
- An official GoFundMe fundraising page is also active at: https://gf.me/u/x56a6c
- For organizations and businesses interested in donating services, supplies, materials or other non-monetary items, email firstname.lastname@example.org or contact the Mayor’s Office at (607) 772-7001. Megan J. Brockett is the point person on all community inquiries.
- Insurance agents met Wednesday on site with officials from the Office of Corporation Counsel and Fire Marshal. The insurance review will continue over the next several days.
- Mayor David spoke Wednesday with Commissioner of NYS Office of Parks, Recreation & Historic Preservation Erik Kulleseid. Despite the State’s financial challenges, the Commissioner affirmed the State will assist in the rebuilding process, as the project was one they are proud of.
- The City has contacted the original OurSpace architect, Play by Design, of Ithaca, to provide project management services for the rebuild.
- Mayor David stressed that while there is a strong community desire to clean up debris and help restore the park, the site must be preserved in its current state until the insurance process and fire investigation are complete.
“Our focus right now is on cleaning up the area and making it safe again as quickly as possible,” said Mayor David. “For those interested in helping in the near future, I would encourage you to donate or raise money for the rebuilding efforts.”
OurSpace opened in June 2016 as the largest fully accessible playground in New York State. It cost approximately $837,000 to design and build, and was funded by grants, community donations and in-kind contributions. More than 900 volunteers logged about 5,000 of work to help build the playground.
In 2017, the City of Binghamton won the Central New York Recreation and Parks Society’s Exceptional Park Design award for OurSpace.
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