By J.O. Parker
The BGM Elementary School PIE (Partners in Education) is raising funds to resurface the 11,500 square-foot playground area with ForeverGreen turf.
The playground currently has a blue chip surface, making it difficult for students with mobility concerns or in a wheelchair non-accessible.
BGM Elementary Principal Mary Sherwood said the border of the playground is also deteriorating and needing to be replaced, especially for safety concerns.
The estimated cost of the new turf project is $231,151. This estimate includes the installation of perimeter boards, six-inches or rock base and the installation of a padding system.
Sherwood said the “big” goal is to secure all funding and complete the project in the summer of 2024.
“If needed, we can split the project into phases and resurface partial areas of the playground as funding is secured in the future,” said Sherwood. “However, because of prices increasing over time, we are really hopeful to fully resurface the entire blue chip area at once.”
The amount needed does not have any donations and/or donated labor. PIE already has a few grants, donations and in-kind labor costs that will reduce the amount needed for the project.
A Smash Park family-friendly event was held at the playground on Friday, Aug. 25, raising $967.50 toward the project.
There were games and fun activities throughout the evening. The Brooklyn Ruritans provided a meal of hot dogs, chips and a drink for the event, all for a freewill donation.
“We are so thankful for the Ruritans and their help and contribution,” noted Sherwood. “It was such a fun family celebration for the start of our school year.”
Sherwood said the project is more than making the playground look nicer, It really is to give all students accessibility to our playground equipment.
“Students in wheelchairs are limited to where they can go on our playground and that is not acceptable to us,” Sherwood said. “This surface will allow for a cleaner, safer and ADA compliant surface for all of our students.”
If you have any questions, contact Mary Sherwood or Katy Calkins at BGM Elementary School at 641-522-9268.
To send a donation, make checks payable to: Brooklyn Community Foundation, P.O. Box 66, attn: BGM PIE Playground Project.