The current Elsmere Elementary playground
Photo by Marcy Velte.
continued “It would be nice to see a more comprehensive play unit so those with disabilities can play side by side with other children,” said Cohen.
The women have met with three playground manufacturers to obtain estimates and have plans to meet with Leathers Associates, the company that built the Playground’s large wooden structure 20 years ago.
Design ideas for the proposed playground call for one large play structure with multiple levels, two or three slides, a rock wall, another climbing element and some independent play options. The plan also calls for landscaping improvements and repairs to current equipment where needed.
For an entirely new playground the cost could run between $102,000 and $125,000, but if needed, new equipment could be integrated with the older equipment. If such a large amount of money could not be raised, the plan could be scaled back.
If the project is approved, the group would apply for grants as well as look for community support and hold independent fundraisers. The PTA would also ask for volunteers to aid in installing the playground to save money and would also be seeking donated services and materials, like cement and construction equipment.
“We have a vested interest in the project because our children will be in the system for the next 10 years,” said Cohen, who has a first grader, a pre-kindergartener and a 2-year-old. Holstein has a second-grader, a kindergartener and two other children.
Parents at the meeting were concerned about the immediate safety issues and what could be done to make improvements for the time being, since installation of the new equipment wouldn’t happen until 2013, at the earliest.
District Operations and Maintenance Director Gregg Nolte said once equipment is donated it is up to the district to maintain it since it is on school property and liability for the playground also falls on the district's shoulders.