All for the kids
Riverside Elementary East students now have a new playground area to enjoy. The former playground was located behind the old elementary building which is scheduled to be torn down in the near future. The play area was not close to the new building and thanks to many man hours the new playground is not only convenient for the students and teachers, it is much safer with new equipment.
The project started several weeks ago and some of the old equipment that could be brought up to code was relocated to the new playground and several new pieces were added.
Dirt work was done, a barrier was built up and pea gravel added in the play area. Swings, slides, climbing wall and monkey bars are all part of the play area. The old concrete slab from the auditorium was left making a large basketball court for the students to enjoy. Six new basketball goals were added.
Riverside East Elementary Principal Steven Sanders said the basketball court is well used.
In addition, a covered pavilion, complete with picnic tables, was added for the students to enjoy.
“We are proud for our students to have such a nice, safe area for recess,” Superintendent Jeff Priest said. “All the work was done by members of our own staff, Chris Snyder, Mark Mann and Tyler Bounds. They did an outstanding job and worked hard to make it happen for the students. Thanks to them we were able to do the entire project for around $25,000. The work took about five weeks from start to finish.”
Dacus Fence erected the fence and 33 pallets of sod came from Bell's Sod Farm. Priest and Sanders also thanked Kyle Vaughn who provided his backhoe, Cade Wilson and Michael Emery for the use of their skid steer, Ronnie Hurst moved dirt, and members of the Lake City Fire Department and Caraway Fire Department helped.
“A few students have said they feel very safe on the playground and several parents have expressed their appreciation,” Sanders said. “This is a positive step and Mr. Priest made it happen. He even got in on some of the hands-on work laying the sod. The cameras on the building also cover the playground area making it more safe and secure for the students. This is really a wonderful addition for our students and that is coming from someone who once played on some of the old equipment.”
Riverside Elementary has 170 students enrolled in K-sixth grades.
“Once again, I want to thank Chris, Mark and Tyler for their work,” Priest said. “Without them, this project would have cost the district three times as much. The new playground is so much safer and more functional for our kids.”
Priest said they are hoping to have the old elementary torn down this winter. The storm shelter building and the newest addition to the old elementary building will not be demolished.