The current Elsmere Elementary playground
Photo by Marcy Velte.
BETHLEHEM Update: At the latest Elsmere PTA meeting, board members voted to start the fundraising process for a non-specific item with no current timeline to see how much money could be raised for possibly purchasing a new playground, according to PTA President Patty Michaelson. Anyone wishing to donate time, money or resources should contact the PTA.
Members of the Elsmere Elementary School PTA have put together a proposal to purchase and construct a new playground for the school.
Playground Committee Co-Vice Presidents Amy Cohen and Robyn Holstein have been working on the proposal since September, when they volunteered to take on the project. The pair presented the plan at a PTA meeting on Tuesday, Jan. 31, and asked for feedback and comments from parents.
“I think the most important goals for the new playground would be making sure we are maintaining the safety of the playground for our children,” said Holstein.
The PTA plans to look into making repairs to the existing playground structures, but Cohen and Holstien said most playgrounds are guaranteed for 20 to 25 years. Portions of Elsmere’s playground were installed in 1992, so upgrades will likely need to be performed within the next five years.
“We thought ‘Are we just going to slap another coat of paint on or are we going to actually take the time to get this done?’” said Holstein.
The two women said according to their research, the lower playground is outdated and the tire swing is broken. The school district has roped off the swing so children won’t use it.
Some equipment also does not meet current safety guidelines and recommendations, but was grandfathered in, according to PTA members. Some climbing equipment is placed close to retaining walls, for example, and some wooden retaining walls are rotten.
Also, only one play element is available for children with disabilities.