Sierra House School fixing up play area |

Sierra House School fixing up play area

Jill Darby

Next fall Sierra House Elementary School students will recess like royalty on a new playground worth more than $50,000.

Sandboxes, slides, swings, climbing walls and monkey bars are included in the new stock of playground equipment.

Second-, third-, fourth- and fifth-graders were given the opportunity to participate in equipment selection. Parents and staff also were invited to vote.

Sierra House’s Parents Club, headed up by president Angela Swanson, raised almost $35,000 for purchases from Miracle Recreation and Playworld Systems.

Based on voting results, Swanson and other playground committee members compiled data and provided it to the equipment manufacturers, who returned a design proposal based on the needs and price range indicated.

“We did not want a design with a load of slides,” Swanson said. “We wanted two really good slides. We chose the manufacturer who offered the best design. We treated this like a professional selection. We added that element into it. Frankly, all the manufacturers were quite pleased with the way we did things.”

The committee selected one major piece complete with slides, overhead climbers and a center stage from Miracle Recreation, and went with Playworld Systems for the additional equipment.

Lake Tahoe Unified School District contributed $20,000 toward the playground’s containment box and fill material, which must be environmentally sound.

Also included in the recreational remodel are picnic tables and park benches, one of which was paid for by the school’s student council.

Completion of the project is not expected until September, but district Facilities Director Steve Morales said things are moving along steadily. The old playground equipment was removed and borders were replaced to comply with safety standards.

“Now we’re leveling the area and we’ll start layout and installation of equipment next Monday,” Morales said. “Then we figure we’ve got about three weeks after that to install all of the equipment, put in the fall-impact material and finish off the project.”

Sierra House Principal Virginia Matus-Glenn said she looks forward to the finished product.

“We have the sandbox in right now,” she said. “It’s exciting. I go out there and look at the sandbox every chance I can.”

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