Large blue and yellow poles littered the lawn around Potter Elementary School on a warm afternoon last week. Teachers, students, School Board Members and camera crews from local television stations looked on as crews turned the random array of poles into a bright, new and safe playground for the school.
“I am glad we have this playground; it is cute and beautiful and I thank everyone for helping us build this playground,” said first grader Aylssa Brown.
This is the first playground replacement paid for with the half-penny sales tax referendum passed by voters last November. The playground will replace one that has been on campus for 20 years. It will be bigger, proudly display the school’s colors and, most importantly, have wheelchair accessibility.
Melissa Mohan is a first grade teacher at Potter. She is excited and grateful the community has come together to give back to its students. “This gives students a chance to build a strong body and get their energy out so that they can go back to class to focus and learn,” she said.
The opportunity to play outside is proven to improve attendance because students look forward to socializing outside with friends. It also helps them learn teamwork, manage conflict and work out a lot of pent-up energy.
This may be the first playground replacement built with Referendum dollars, but it’s far from the last. Just this year, our school district expects to:
Replace 50 playgrounds, tracks and athletic courts
Complete 31 painting and carpeting projects
Invest more than $1 million in school security improvements
On top of that, will be the larger projects slated for this summer; they include 21 air conditioner overhauls or replacements and 13 new roofs. This work MUST take place this summer because of the number of workers necessary to be on campus to complete the projects.
Earlier this month, we received a check for more than $9,000,000 from the state for the Education Referendum. That check went straight to the bank and put many of these projects on the fast track. The work has begun and will only pick up from here.
Upcoming Projects and Projects Currently in Progress: