The start of a new school year is always exciting, but perhaps more so this year at St. Polycarp Catholic School in Stanton than in previous years. Shortly after school began, administrators announced that a new playground would soon be constructed.
According to Alison Daley, the school’s principal, “The previous playground structure was put in place approximately ten to twelve years ago, but was built predominantly with wood. Eventually termite damage made it unsafe for the children.” While it remained in the yard, off limits to children, it was finally removed in 2014.
Daley says that every day, while the project was underway, students would ask: “It is ready, yet?” On Sept. 20, the big day arrived.
The new playground, in natural earth colors, is made with all metal and plastic, rather than the old wooden construction. It includes a rock wall, three slides, several climbing ladder options, bridges, play boards, a pipe telephone (where students can hear one another from the other side of structure), and decorative tree tops, making the entire structure look almost like a playhouse in the trees.
The pre-existing swings were already installed in their own wood chip area. Now, the wood chip area has been extended to include the new play structure. Also, a fence has been installed to protect the playground, making a nice division between the playground and field.
Daley says that the playground will be open during recess and lunch recess for all students, grades TK-8.
“We found the middle school students are just as excited as our primary students,” she said. “I felt it was such a special gift to our school, coupled with the fact that all of our children have been without a playground going on five years now, that everyone deserved to enjoy it.”
The new playground was funded by multiple sources.