Summer construction season was seen throughout the Lowell Area Schools District. Among the projects and improvements were new stage flooring was put in at the Lowell Performing Arts Center, the area near the baseball fields at the high school was improved, and the office at Cherry Creek Elementary School got a facelift. Bushnell Elementary School Students noticed a new piece of playground equipment when they returned to school.
A Huge Need Fulfilled
The playground at Bushnell has been in need of an update for quite some time. Some current teachers and parents of children attending the elementary school remember playing on the items when they attended school there, dating some of the equipment at over 30 years in age.
The total cost of the project was $34,182. A grant from the Lowell Cable TV Endowment Fund was granted for $19,395 and the district paid for the remaining balance. “Besides the age of the equipment and the safety features that are offered by newer designs, children need choices during recess. The newly installed equipment offers multiple ways for children to access the area, climb, explore, and collaborate with one another outside.” said Erin Walters, Bushnell Principal, when asked about the importance of replacing an outdated piece. “I look forward to seeing how their imaginations are used in this exciting space. We also added fencing that will enable a safer playground with increased supervision of our students.” Additional older pieces remain and another 30+ year area of equipment will be replaced in Summer 2019 according to Walters.
In late July the majority of the new structure was installed. With the help of Bob Rogers coordinating the volunteer effort, over the course of two days, pieces were put into place. Walters says, “A huge thank you to Tim Bergy, Todd Lennemen, Allison Mahalic, Amy Cook, Howard Burton, Rick Kinsley, Rochelle Cummings, and Becky DeVito and John DeVito – LAS teaching, custodial, transportation and maintenance staff, who supported the work through excavation, preparation and construction.” recognizing those in the district who helped. She is also thankful for Rogers’ efforts in volunteer coordination and for the grant received to pay for more than half of the cost of the project.
One portion of the equipment was not delivered, therefore students were not able to actually use the structure when school began. The company has finally been out to install the missing pieces and wood chips have been placed in the area. The new playground is finally able to get some use and is a welcomed addition to recess time.
Photos of the completed playground courtesy of Mrs. Kluge, kindergarten teacher at Bushnell, and used with permission.