Committee members orchestrating Phase 2 of the Lake Placid Elementary School's Playground Project need your help, and we encourage you to support the additions so all students - no matter their needs - can use and enjoy the equipment.
At $100,000, the price tag is hefty, but school officials are confident they can raise that much money in the hope of installing the PlayWorld equipment at Paw Print Park by the fall of 2017.
With Phase 1 still fresh in the community's collective memory - having only been opened in the fall of 2012 - we believe there is a definite need to bring the LPES playground up to "inclusive" standards. Just ask the students. They were the ones who told Principal Sonja Franklin about their playground desires.
Mandy Mihill’s first-grade class at the Lake Placid Elementary School poses with Principal Sonja Franklin, back row center, and Playground Committee co-chairman Zach Clark Friday, Oct. 28 to promote phase 2 of the school’s playground construction.
(News photo — Andy Flynn)
"They said they want playground equipment that all their friends can play on, because the playground we have out there is not really accessible to someone with special needs," Franklin recently told the News. "And it's not designed for people with special needs."
The main difference between phase 1 - the current playground - and phase 2 - additions and deletions of equipment - is the new-and-improved playground will be inclusive. It will be designed for children with a wide spectrum of abilities and special needs. The special needs population at the LPES is about 24 percent of the student body, according to Franklin.
How can you help?
Fundraising efforts for Phase 2 are already underway. When the committee reaches $75,000, the Uihlein Foundation will donate the remaining $25,000, according to Franklin, who hopes the community will once again rally behind this project.
"The idea is that this is a playground that is used by the community, and it's built for the community," she said.
A number of fundraising activities are being planned, including grant writing, a bottle drive at the North Elba Recycling and Transfer Station in October and November, a penny drive, appeals to community organizations and the alumni association, and an Adirondack Gives campaign for $2,500 that was launched on Oct. 20 adirondackgives.org/campaigns/lake-placid-elementary-school-playground-project.
Students are getting excited about the new playground, according to Franklin.
"A cute student came in the other day with an envelope with five dollars and 23 cents that she raised," she said. "That's going in there, and that student now feels like a part of that playground."
LPES staff have already seen some success at the playground with the purchase of two blue-and-gold, plastic swings, which replaced two of the nine plain, black swings. They cost $800 each, and they've been a popular attraction.
"There are lines already to use these swings because it's something bright and colorful," Franklin said. "It's inviting."