Playground in Sight for Alvaton Elementary?


Even when the weather is a little rainy the children at Alvaton Elementary find a way to play outside for recess. They bounce balls or jump rope under covered porches, but one thing the students can't do - rain or shine - is play on an actual playground.

WBKO's Lauren Hanson takes a look at the progress of obtaining an Alvaton Elementary playground, and what the parents think about the issue.

Stephanie Strain said her third grader hasn't seen a playground at her school since she was in preschool, and her first grader has never had one.

"This year they're playing on the front sidewalk of the school; they have no area to run and play," Strain said.

Alvaton's Principal, Mark Rathbun, said the playground at the old school had to be dismantled a few years ago so the new school could be built in its place.

"We had to remove our playground equipment from the old school way early on for them to start excavation for the new school, so our students have been without a playground for a substantial period of time," Rathbun said.

Rathbun also said the PTO is currently working to raise money for a new playground. The goal is to raise $200,000, and right now the PTO has around $25,000. Rathbun said the General Assembly also allotted $75,000 for the cause.

"As for right now the students play out on our bus loop where there's a large grassy area and then another grassy area down near the building," Rathbun said.

A project that is in the works right now is a track outside of the school, and future projects that the faculty has in store to build are a large basketball court and a playground.

"To be honest with you, our kids have been more active without monkey bars and swings and slides and things like that. Some of the kids will climb on the monkey bars and sit on the swings, but a lot of times they'll sit on the monkey bars and socialize with each other," Rathbun said.

Strain said she just wants her daughter to have the opportunity to use a playground before she get to be too old.

"When they don't have the activity time that they should have as children in school it's not helping anything. They need the running, extra climbing, jumping and the other things they get to do," Strain said.

There's not a time line for when the PTO will have all the money raised for the playground, but Principal Rathbun said he's meeting with the playground committee soon to discuss the progress. He said the school may begin to buy pieces of playground equipment as the money continues to come in. There's also a few fundraisers like the Fall Festival coming up soon to help collect more money for the playground.


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