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In the Fall of 2012, a group of parents along with Principal Sheila McAdams, set out on a course to create a plan to renovate the Winthrop Elementary School playground. After an official inspection of the playground last year, highlighting the deficiencies in meeting current safety codes, as well as repeated rainstorms that caused severe eroding and damage to the grounds due to poor drainage conditions, the committee set two ambitious goals:
1) Complete the renovation project in 2013
2) Privately fund the entire project through donations, since there is no funding in the school budget.
With the overall goal of fostering children’s development while also giving them plenty of choices for having fun, the committee conducted months of research and interviews with playground vendors, as well as meeting and surveying faculty and staff. The committee and Principal McAdams settled on a community-build playground company called Play By Design to lead the design of myriad playground structures and elements. To complement their work, local architect Maryann Malarkey will design natural features and create a plan to address long-standing drainage issues with site work and plantings.
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