Retention pond (1)

This photo shows the east side of the school. The proposed retention pond  would be located inside the fence area, between the back of the school and the fence line. 

The proposed location of a new detention pond at Derby Hills Elementary would be a safety risk because of its proximity to a playground, the president of the school board said at a recent meeting.

“People will say ‘it won’t happen,’ but I’m here to tell you, it will happen,” Tina Prunier said of the potential for children to drown. “I have a major concern with it being close to the playground.”

Board members were discussing the schematic design of a bond project at Derby Hills when Prunier raised her concerns at the May 28 meeting.

Joe Dessenberger, director of finance and operations for Derby Public Schools, and Mitch Binns, a regional manager for McCownGordon — the construction company managing all bond projects for the district — assured Prunier that they would take a second look at the pond’s location.

“Schematic design has located a dry detention pond between the new parking lot and the relocated playground” at Derby Hills, Dessenberger said later.

Stormwater can’t cause runoff at a rate greater than before any improvements involving “hard surfaces” such as parking, sidewalks and roofs.

“This requires the landowner to hold the additional runoff on property and then meter it off at a rate not to exceed the rate that was experienced prior. All this is an effort to not overwhelm stormwater structures and streams downhill from the property,” he said.

Dessenberger said a civil engineer already is looking at alternatives.

“One option would be to locate the dry detention elsewhere on the property. Depending on the solution, it could result in a cost increase or decrease,” he said.

The schematic plan is not a stage of construction detailed enough to include items such as fencing, Dessenberger said. Prunier said fencing would be a necessity if the pond remains close to the playground.

“If there is a need for a barrier from drainage areas, parking and traffic, those items will be designed in before construction,” Dessenberger said.

Retention Pond (2)

This image shows Derby Hills Elementary School and the location of the proposed retention pond.