Saratoga As presents go, the best are the ones that keep on giving, and that will certainly be the case at Greenfield Elementary in the Saratoga Springs Central School District as it embarks on designing its present to the school – a new playground in honor of the school turning 50 years old.
On Wednesday, June 6, the school held a 50th birthday celebration that included dinner, a bounce house, and the unveiling of a design for a new playground. The new digs are expected to cost $150,000 and should be completed by June 2013. So far fund-raising efforts have brought in $10,000 in donations. Mann Wireless, based in Middle Grove, sponsored the celebration and more project sponsors are being sought.
“Because we’d like to bring the celebration to the children’s level, we’re calling it a birthday,” said Principal Tina Davis.
She said a new playground is a timely gift since the existing playground, at 25 years old, had exceeded its lifespan by five years.
With almost 400 students at the school, the playground gets a lot of use and has see some changes since it was first installed. Tire swings that made up the body of Greenfield’s dragon mascot were taken out because they proved good breeding grounds for bees, mosquitos and other unwanted guests.
The original playground built of pressure treated wood by the community is still in good working order, although it is in need of updating. One of the unique aspects of Greenfield school community is that many parents and grandparents of those attending the school, were once students there themselves or now work at the school.
“We’re a tight-knitcommunity and full of community support,” said Davis.
She said she is expecting a grand turnout from residents in support of the playground project.
A playground committee headed by parent Julie Guetti and Project Manager Kyle Conde of Leathers & Associates in Ithaca, which specializes in playground design, has been working for the last few months on the project.