Members of Morgan Elementary’s Parent Advisory Committee are celebrating after reaching their fundraising goal of $125,000 in order to build a new playground.
Spearheaded by Andrea Janssen and Kym Parsons, the PAC was determined to build a new playground after an influx of students at the elementary had forced school officials to split the 372 students in shifts in order to play on the apparatus.
After inquiring about pricing with the four playground companies approved by the school district, Parson and Janssen began contacting local developers and businesses for donations.
Many of the developers – including smaller operations – donated funds, acknowledging that future residents who would move into the homes they were building would likely use the park, Janssen said.
“It’s going to be open for everyone,” she said Thursday. “It’s not just for the students. We have soccer teams and other sports teams that use the field on the weekend, as well. It’s definitely going to be popular this summer.”
The school also raised a record $23,000 at their annual fall social – largely due to local businesses donating a number of items for the silent auction. But then, with only $25,000 to go, the PAC was stuck on ideas to raise more money.
“We couldn’t go back to the parents and ask for more. There is a limit,” Janssen laughed.
After reaching out to Morgan Creek Golf Course – which had previously donated funds for the school’s first playground – Janssen and Parson received a very pleasant surprise.
“(Company president) Geoff Barker asked us ‘How much do you need?’ Janssen said.
“It was just like that. And they donated the remaining $25,000. It was incredible.”
After researching 14 local playgrounds to see what features the children would want most, Parsons worked with the playground designer to get the project started.
One unusual factor: the playground will feature a rainbow colour scheme.
“The kids picked it out,” Parson laughed.
And, more importantly, the playground will be built low in order to accomodate handicapped students, she added.
Construction crews have already begun breaking ground on the playground site, and on March 1-2, the parents will put the playground together, followed by an inspection from the school district.
The PAC aims to have the playground open and ready for students in early April.