Abraham Lincoln Elementary School celebrated the addition of new playground equipment for all the students to enjoy during a ribbon-cutting ceremony on Sept. 16.
“For years we’ve had a play structure and the kids have always loved playing on it,” said Lincoln Principal Stephen Williams. “As you know, in this valley we get hot temperatures. This new structure has shade … something the community has wanted to put on our play structure.”
From determining the playground design to getting it implemented took about 120 days. The actual construction work took about two months.
“Coordination is the biggest challenge,” said Kent Smith, director of Facilities and Support Operations at Glendale Unified School District. “Even under the mat, there’s new concrete that goes in for the new playground, and then you have the tiles that go in. It’s a lot of coordination effort because it can involve three separate contractors – one that does the concrete, one that does the demolition and rebuilding, and finally we have an inspector who says that everything was done fine.”
Purchasing the shade at this stage was an important decision. Smith said that it was cheaper to include shade now for the new structure rather than adding it later, as the cost of it would have doubled.
The previous playground equipment was replaced because it had reached maturity. UV rays affect the plastic used in playground structures and cause materials to become brittle and hard, so all playgrounds are on about a 10-to-12-year cycle to replace plastic equipment.
The irony of the celebration was that it was on a hot day, which emphasized the need for shade; unfortunately it was too hot for the kids to get on the new play equipment so they had to wait for it to cool down.
“With the bond [money] we were able to get a new play structure that included the shade,” Williams said. “So this really meets the kids’ needs. They’re really excited.”