Bijou PTA raises money for new playground

Griffin Rogers
An artist's rendition shows what a portion of the new playground at Bijou Community School will look like after its completion.
GameTime / Provided to the Tahoe Daily Tribune |

There’s no doubt playtime at Bijou Community School has improved in the last couple years.

Children used to play on a field of dirt. Now they play on the Field of Dreams. With a lot of the legwork now complete, the Bijou Parent-Teacher Association is working on the final piece of the transformation: a new $102,000 playground.

“We want to make this a happy and viable place for everyone to play in,” PTA president Kathy Haven said.

A new playground at Bijou is something the community has needed for some time now, she said. The playground and park at Bijou is the only one between Rufus Allen Boulevard and Kahle Community Park, and the equipment is old and in need of repairs.

For example, some parts — such as a sliding hanger kids used to pull themselves across the playground on — are broken, Haven said. Others are decades old. The structure has also become a target of vandalism in recent years, with parents having to paint clouds over graffiti.

The new playground, however, will to fix all that, she said. The 7,500-square-foot structure will feature strong equipment and safe materials.

The goal is to ultimately build a structure that is fun for kids to play on, said Joe Seavey, sales manager at GameTime, the playground design company building the structure. But architects also wanted to build something that put an emphasis on exercise.

“What we were trying to do is get core, upper body play for the children,” he said.

As a result, the new playground will shy away from basic platforms and other equipment offering little physical exertion. Instead it will include ladders, ring swings, “rock” walls and a variety of things to climb.

Swings will be the only thing saved from the current playground, along with a dome already in the area.

Ashley Mattila, a parent of a Bijou student, said she’s looking forward to the structure’s completion.

“It’s just so exciting to give this to the children,” she said.

Funds for the playground are being raised through donations and community events, but the PTA still has a little ways to go, Haven said.

If everything goes as planned — and the association has the money to move forward with the project — construction could begin as early as April.

“The kids are pretty excited about it,” she said.

For more information on donating to the project, contact Haven at

Bijou students receive clothes from Kiwanis Club

The Kiwanis Club of Lake Tahoe is distributing the last of its “Coats for Kids” at Bijou Community School today.

About 180 students will receive clothing through the program, which has lead to more than 600 new coats being distributed around the community this year.

The Kiwanis Club of Lake Tahoe is part of a worldwide organization of volunteers focused on helping various communities. For more information, visit

Nordic ski center to hold meeting at Sprouts

South Lake Tahoe community members are invited to attend a meeting Thursday to learn more about South Shore’s Nordic Center.

The meeting will be held at Sprouts Café at 3123 Harrison Ave. It will start at 5:30 p.m. and provide guests with information on the cross-country ski center, what it offers and ways to kick off the 2013-14 snow season.

In January, the Lake Tahoe Community College Nordic Club planned on opening groomed Nordic trails on campus, according to Tahoe Daily Tribune archives. Season passes allowed access to about four miles of terrain.

More information on community education can be found at

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