On Wed., July 6, Wilson Elementary School, West Caldwell, unveiled its new and improved school playground, which features colorful equipment additions and a safer, softer ground covering. Funded by the H.S.A. with additional funds provided by the school district, the playground features a five new pieces of equipment, including a Kidnetix Twirl, a Track Ride, a Ribbon Wall, a Mini High Stepper and a Honeycomb. All of the new equipment pieces were installed onto a “poured-in place” rubber surface, making the equipment safer by reducing the likelihood and/or severity of injury.
The entire project cost about $67,000; $44,000 of which was raised by the school’s Home and School Association (H.S.A.).
“Selecting and installing the pieces took several months,” said Wilson School Principal Scott Keena. “I worked with the students and H.S.A. representatives to select the playground equipment and options. It was definitely a lot bigger project than I expected it to be.”
The district’s Maintenance and Operations Department did most of the work to prepare the site, and provided tools and on-site support, saving the school and district thousands of dollars in installation costs. And, the parents supported the project around the clock, literally.
“The support from the Wilson School parents was amazing,” said Keena.
After the rubber surface was installed, it needed to dry, similar to cement. The company strongly suggested that in addition to a safety fence around the area, adults watch the area until the surface dried.
“The Wilson School parents were incredible and immediately began signing up for one-hour slots to be ‘on watch’,” added Keena. “Parents volunteered around the clock, even showing up at midnight or four a.m. It was touching to see that kind of support.”