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King-Murphy's second graders were digging up the dirt in their playground. They donned hard hats and grabbed shovels on Nov. 8 to break ground for the last section of their new playground. They put …
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King-Murphy's second graders were digging up the dirt in their playground.
They donned hard hats and grabbed shovels on Nov. 8 to break ground for the last section of their new playground. They put their backs into digging the six spots that will be the posts for the new swings, slide and climbing apparatus while other students watched from the newly installed artificial turf.
Once the second graders had their safety gear and shovels, Tim Ryan, owner of Arrow-J Landscaping, asked them: “Are you guys ready to dig?” to a resounding yes. He then reminded them they needed to be very safe when they were doing the work. Their work was done after about 10 minutes.
Students said it wasn't easy to dig the holes because there were so many rocks. Second graders Emily Griego, Adelaide Toth and Owen Holing called the digging fun, but kind of hard, and they agreed it would be great to have a full playground to play on again.
Arrow-J Landscaping Project Manager Dan Simmons told students that concrete from 11 trucks was used to build the walls and steps for the playground.
Simmons said the company really enjoys creating playgrounds, and he credited architect Design Concepts for creating well-thought-out plans for the playground space. Workers were able to paint the handrails in the school colors, do some restoration work and touched up the existing retaining walls.
While the project starts as school was ending in May, it has taken time to finish because of supply-chain issues getting the new play equipment, Simmons said. Now that the equipment has arrived, the playground should be ready for children to swing, climb, slide and laugh by Thanksgiving.
The playground overhaul was paid for in large part as part of a $5 million bond approved by Clear Creek voters in 2018. Clear Creek School District officials had hoped the retaining wall that holds up the playground would not need to be replaced, but that wasn't the case.
Instead, the entire wall was rebuilt, a new drainage system installed and stairways added so children can get to the upper-level playground from the building's lower level.
The total price tag is $988,000, with $189,000 coming from a BEST — Building Excellence Schools Today — grant. Of the $988,000, about $386,000 paid for the new retaining wall.
According to Clear Creek Superintendent Karen Quanbeck, the district was able to spend that much money on the playground thanks to grants, and in-kind and monetary donations that could be used for other items in the bond.
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