Laity View elementary has a new fully-accessible playground.
The Laity View Parent Advisory Council with help from Ridge Meadows Rotary raised $85 000 over three years for the project.
“The main incentive was to have a playground that was accessible to all of our students, including our students with disabilities,” said Laity View elementary principal Kristi Blakeway.
The new playground has all-access ramps to allow children in wheelchairs full access to the inside of the structure. There are sensory panels where children can feel and turn different objects and a ‘Tippy Canoe’ feature that allows for up to two wheelchairs to rock back-and-forth. Then there are the normal playground elements like slides and rings to hang from.
Money for the playground was raised through school carnivals and hot lunches.
PAC parent Dara Clayton spearheaded the project. It was assembled by a group of parent volunteers the first weekend of December.
“Not only did she coordinate the volunteers, she actually moved her, with permission from the district, she moved her motorhome onto the field and stayed overnight and supervised the whole project,” laughed Blakeway.
“She organized everything from the meals to the shoveling, to all parts of the installation,” Blakeway added.
The playground officially opened right after Christmas after all the levels were checked to make sure there were even and functional.
“We had to make sure it was truly accessible because, obviously, to enter the playground structure in a wheelchair, you need to be able to just wheel right on,” explained Blakeway.
An official ribbon cutting ceremony took place on Jan. 31.