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Elementary, My Dear


As this is the Campus issue, and given we don't want to leave out the most youthful of school attendees, LASN asked several of our friendly playground equipment and safety surfacing manufacturers to send us some of their recent playground installations at elementary schools across the country . . . and in one case, across thousands of miles of Pacific Ocean.

So, this is a bit of a picture book presentation of what elementary school children are playing on these days. Like the playground, this is meant to be fun. Nothing too serious here. Perhaps you'll appreciate a feature in this issue that only involves looking at some pictures and reading some photo captions? We hope so. Perhaps it will give you some ideas for your next playground project.

This playground collage includes playground equipment and playground safety surfacing. Thanks for playing.





Pretty in green. The PowerScape 3D play unit at Williams Avenue Elementary School in Fort Payne, Alabama is a real eye catcher that surges with energy. This is GameTime's redesign of PowerScape. Specific elements are the 'Funnel Bridge', the 'Archway' (punched steel and routed HDPE panels) and the 'Shadow Tree Roofs', which mimic the look of tree canopies.





Students at Collinsville Elementary School in Collinsville, Alabama enjoy the play options of GameTime's 'Double Agent' play piece.





The 'Origins' playground designed by Playworld Systems offers boulders, rope climbers, dinosaur "diggables" and gardening-based activities that create teachable moments about plants and the planet.





The BCI Burke fire truck themed playground at Chegwin Elementary School in Fond du Lac, Wisconsin just had its ribbon cutting/grand opening.





This Mega Tower(R) structure at Belle Valley School in Belleville, Illinois, features Miracle Recreation's 14-foot Tube Slide, Flippopotamus Climber, Fossil Bluff Climber, 855 degree Typhoon Slide and more. Sales Rep: Hutchinson Recreation.





When principal Jane Drennan began planning the playgrounds for Gibbs Elementary in Rochester, Minn., she knew it had to have the traditional favorites like swings and slides, but also new and unusual elements that would get kids excited about playing. Unique Little Tikes Commercial components include the Matrix(R) Web Climber, the Spinfinity(R), Hypersonic Slide, twin Spiral Slides and eight-foot high decks that allow kids to climb high off the ground. A mixture of bright red, green, yellow, black and white colors infuses this KidBuilders(R) structure with an extra sense of fun. "They love it," says Drennan. "It really did accomplish what we were hoping for. The kids run to get out there."





Located within a planned residential development, this 72,000 square foot elementary school will house 600 students when it opens in September 2013. The $15 million dollar project is located on 13 acres in the Woodburn Hill area of Camas, Oregon. The PipeLine play equipment by Columbia Cascade is powder coated in green to complement the natural evergreens surrounding the campus. A smaller A2Z Play structure is located next to the Step-Ahead Preschool classroom on a covered raised terrace. Benches, bollards and litter receptacles, also by Columbia Cascade, are color-matched to the playground equipment.
Architect: Dull Olson Weekes Architects, Portland, Ore.
Landscape Architect: Atlas Landscape Architecture, Tigard, Ore.





The Durango Montessori Elementary School (K-5) in Durango, Colorado could not afford playground equipment, but did manage to purchase for its grassy courtyard three new compact musical instruments that Freenotes Harmony Park is introducing this year.










The William Paca/Old Post Road Elementary School in Abingdon, Md., home of the Penquins, serves about 700 students in PK-5. The playground was retrofitted with Bonded WoodCarpet pathways and WoodCarpet Mats (Zeager) to "significantly reduce maintenance and improve accessibility," according to Bob Zeager, who notes that several months after installation, no maintenance has been needed.





Bishop School in Arlington, Mass. had a traditional play structure for one of its playgrounds, but wanted to update an older playground for the upper grades. The school playground is under the jurisdiction of Arlington Parks and Rec., but Arlington parents worked with Parks and Rec. to do the planning and fundraising. The new equipment, all from Berliner Seilfabrik, includes a Spaceball climber, Terranos (triangular net), Spider Net, net access, rubber pods and 'Cloud 9', an access swing. The goal was climbing challenges that emphasized muscle development and hand-eye coordination.





The focal point of the play area at Indialantic Elementary School in Indialantic, Fla. is Berliner Seilfabrik's large Spaceball climber. Advanced Recreational Concepts, Inc., the representative and dealer for Berliner in Florida, designed the playground. The project was realized with money raised by the Brevard Co. School District PTA. The school was looking for a signature playground piece that was not available at every neighborhood park or school playground, and that had IPEMA certification.




















Kinderberry Hill Child Development Centers of Minnesota understands that children learn through discovery and creative exploration. The Edina, Minn. location challenged Cre8Play to design and build just such an educational play environment, with safety and durability in mind. The nature-themed play has realistic textures and surfaces, complete with "fallen tree" slides, log balance beams and log steppers. All the structures and surfacing meet state and national safety guidelines.










With less than 3,000 sq. ft. of space to work with Safeplay Systems created three distinct play areas for children of different ages at Zion Baptist Academy in Marietta, Ga. The infant area consists of a playhouse, sandbox and a wheeled-toys track-all separated from the rest of the playground area by a play panel wall. On the other side of the wall are two EcoPlay playground structures, one for ages 2-5 with climbers and a slide off of a 48-inch high deck, plus two spring riders. For the older children there's a spiral slide from a 60-inch deck and overhead climbers. Several tot-sized picnic tables are included. Made from postconsumer, recycled HDPE plastic, the EcoPlay playground equipment in this project contains material equivalent to 35,750 milk jugs that otherwise would have ended-up in landfills. The playground surfacing is poured-in-place rubber safety surfacing from No Fault Sport Group.





The YMCA Child Care Center offers full day child care services for children ages 6 weeks through 4K, plus provides a full-time, year-round ADVOCAP Head Start program, and a Fond du Lac School District 4K program. The playground equipment is from BCI Burke.





The Ewa Beach Community-Based Development Organization (EBCBDO), a nonprofit focusing on improving the quality of life for Ewa Beach residents, applied for and was awarded a $90,000 grant from the city of Honolulu to rebuild the community playground, which had been deemed unsafe and shut down by the city in 2011. Area volunteers prepped, cleaned and removed old asphalt and debris from the project area. EBCBDO turned to EasyTurf to protect the "keiki" (kids) from falls at this one-of-a-kind "Explorer Dome" playground on Oahu. The EasyTurf artificial grass was selected for its durability, water savings and minimal upkeep. It went in with precise cuts around the landscape, fountains and walkways.





Summitville Elementary is home to Landscape Structures' spherical Evos play pieces, appropriate for 5 to 12 year olds. The play elements include slides like the Surf Slide, plus multiple challenging climbers: the Hemisphere Climber, O-Zone Climber, Swiggle Stix Bridge and Gryo Twister Spinner.





In September 2012, St. Peter's School in Delano, Minn., installed Landscape Structures' new PlayBooster, which combines fun ground-level components, climbing and overhead activities for kindergarteners through 6th grade students. The components include the Double Poly Slide, SpyroSlide, Cascade Climber, Corkscrew Climber, Pod Climber, Wiggle Ladder, Horizontal Ladder, Swing Out Overhead Event and Blender Spinner. Beneath the equipment is PebbleFlex safety surfacing.










Up on the roof at the Latin School of Chicago on West North Blvd., and at PS 42 in Manhattan, the play equipment is from Little Tikes Commercial Play Systems Inc. The surfacing is SofSurface's SofTILE brand of interlocking KrosLOCK rubber tiles.










Surface America's PlayBound poured-in-place surfacing was installed on the playground at Myers Elementary School in Elkins Park, Pa. At Abbey Kelly Foster Charter Public School in Worcester, Mass., however, the choice was Surface America's PlayBound TurfTop.





The John Burroughs Education Campus is a STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) school for preschool through 8th grade. This is Playworld Systems' Activo line--'Swirl' spinner, 'Quiver' climber (suspended blue ellipticals), 'Perches' (blue pods at the bases of the yellow pipes), plus its Playmakers elements. All Recreation installed the playground.







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