Some 30-plus parents gathered at All Hallows Elementary in North River tonight (Sept. 17) to begin formulating a plan to restore the playground adjacent to the school.
The playground was closed by Eastern School District after an inspection found safety deficiencies at the site.
School officials have expressed concern about the lack of an outside play area for the roughly 400 students, and parents appeared more than ready Monday night to step up.
There were plenty of offers for heavy equipment, expertise and labour, and a newly formed committee of parents is scheduled to tour the site on Thursday to determine what needs to be done. Work could begin as early as Saturday, with the emphasis on removing outdated and dangerous equipment, and spreading a new layer of pea-stone in order to cushion users during a fall.
The immediate priority is to address any safety concerns in order to reopen the playground. But in the long-term, parents seemed intent on enhancing the site by exploring various funding options, and raising money at the grassroots level.
One estimate put the overall cost at roughly $100,000, with the work being done in phases over several years. The school district has stated it is not responsible for funding or maintaining playgrounds.
The school council has long considered an upgrade to the playground as one of its priorities.
Anyone wishing to donate to the project can do so by contacting the school. All donations are tax deductible.