After years of riding a rollercoaster to try and find a new play structure for Kalmiopsis Elementary School, the Kalmiopsis/Azalea Parent Teacher Organization (PTO) can finally breathe a sigh of relief.
A new play structure, "the Grand Teton Play System," has been found.
"We're super excited to have one over there," said Cindy Schofield, a Kalmiopsis/Azalea Parent Teacher Organization (PTO) member. "The kids need some more creative play, and this is a great opportunity for them to have. The kids that do active stuff like sports, that stuff is already there. The kids that need creative play are lacking right now, so this will be perfect."
The previous structure was removed more than two years ago for liability reasons.
Last week, the Brookings-Harbor School Board approved the purchase and installation of the structure, which will be installed on the Easy Street side of the playground.
It weighs 12,025 pounds; is 22 feet long by 60 feet, 9 inches wide by 18 feet, 9 inches high; and Kalmiopsis colors (red, white and blue). It includes a variety of slides, climbers and a 10-foot-high tube slide, according to the play system's website.
The structure is $35,000, and installation materials will cost $5,900, Brookings-Harbor School District Superintendent Brian Hodge said.
The structure will be paid for by the PTO, and the school district will pay for the installation materials.
New Creation Builders and Sage Bruce Construction have volunteered to install the structure, which will take about 160 man hours, free of charge.
New Creation owner Josh Bruce has children in the school district, and a lot of his employees have children at Kalmiopsis, so they all volunteered to help, he said.
"We talked about it as a team, and it didn't sound like they were going to be able afford putting it in if they didn't have a little help, so we just figured out how to go to work after we go to work, which we love to do," Bruce said with a laugh. "Any time we can help the schools."
Both the district and the PTO appreciate the free labor.
"We're so grateful for him," PTO member Sarah Jones said.
Schofield said there are too many variables to know whether the structure will be ready when school starts in September, but the PTO hopes the project will be complete by the end of August.
The PTO has worked hard the past couple of years fundraising, researching structures, bargaining on price and shipping and meeting with school officials to discuss possible structures and logistics.
"Kids and parents earned this," Schofield said. "We couldn't do it without them."
This structure was chosen for a variety of reasons.
"We chose this one because it looked like it was the biggest and most fun," Jones said. "It's huge and fabulous."
It was also chosen because students voted for it, and the company knocked $5,000 off the original price.
"After we were able to get it down that far, we said 'let's just try to find a way to make it happen,'" Schofield said.
With the company marking down the price, Ray's Food Place paying for part of the shipping, the district paying for installation materials, and New Creation Builders donating labor, everything became feasible.
"We're hoping it helps with some of the fighting that happens at the school during playground time just with more places to play and more creative ways for kids that need that," Schofield said. "And it makes the school look good."