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September 6, 2018

Community rallies around M.M. Pierce playground

Photos/Cassandra Brown
Ruben Mantilla slides down a pole at the new Margaret M. Pierce Elementary School playground in Remington.
Nolan Ordain crosses the playground’s rope bridge.
I like how this playground has swings and spinny things.
— Fifth-grader Joseph Greene
Pierce Playground
• Where: M.M. Pierce Elementary, 12074 James Madison St., Remington.

• Features: Three slides, ropes, mini climbing wall, swings, spinners, see-saw.

• Cost: $70,000 for Phase I covered by PTO fundraisers, school system funds and donations. Another $32,000 worth of equipment planned.

• Opened: Wednesday, Aug. 29.

• Space: 8,500 square feet; mulch 12 inches thick.
By .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
Staff Journalist
Screams erupted Tuesday afternoon as more than 20 fifth-graders ran toward the new playground at M.M. Pierce Elementary school in Remington.

Students’ eyes widened as they climbed ropes, jumped off swings and bounced on a seesaw around the mulched area behind the school.

The first phase of the playground — with three slides, a rope bridge, swings, a seesaw and spinning bowl seats — opened last week.

“I like how this playground has swings and spinny things,” fifth-grader Joseph Greene said.

“It’s a big deal for them to have a safe and up-to-date place to play,” Principal Laura Hoover said. “If you ask most kids what their favorite thing is, it’s recess.”

By the end of the 2016-17 term, the old playground started falling apart when a slide cracked. Last spring other equipment started to break, and the school closed its playground completely.

“It was at least 20 years old, if not more,” Ms. Hoover said.

About a year ago, the Pierce parent-teacher organization jump started raising money for a new structure.

The group collected about $20,000 for the project through fundraisers such as a community yard sale and fun fair, according to Ms. Hoover.

About $8,000 of a PATH Foundation grant also went toward the project’s first phase.

The Remington community car show this spring donated $5,000 of its proceeds to the project. The school system paid about $37,000 for the remainder of Phase I.

“It’s a community effort, all around,” Ms. Hoover said.

The playground also moved closer to the school, near the outdoor basketball court. Mulch 12-inches thick covers the 8,500 square foot space.

“We didn’t have swings before,” Ms. Hoover said. It “has a lot of detail built in that the other one didn’t have.”

Students chose a bright green color scheme for the new equipment.

Citizens can use the playground after school hours.

“It’s a benefit to the community as well, because there aren’t any parks in Remington,” Ms. Hoover said.

In August, the PATH Foundation and another anonymous foundation donated $40,000, which will mostly get used for Phase II of the project.

The school will continue to add equipment and eventually hopes to install a pavilion and picnic tables.

“I think it’s awesome. It’s nice and big. Much nicer than the other one,” first-grade teacher Michelle Smith said. “They have more choices, more room.”
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Stacie Griffin · September 9, 2018 at 8:16 pm
What a wonderful labor of love from our community. I know that so many parents and supporters of the school worked tirelessly to raise funds and create awareness for this project. What a great gift to the children. Thank you to everyone who supported this project, and thank you to the PATH Foundation and all of the donors for helping to make this dream come true. Congratulations to the M.M. Pierce PTO for working so hard and bringing life back to the playground. The pictures in this article say it all. Pure joy!
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