The project goal is to provide our community with a safe, healthy, and engaging outdoor area to utilize for years to come. Our elementary school is open to the community seven days a week. Therefore, the community is able to access the basketball court, track, play area, Project Fit America equipment, Community Pool, Hoodlebug Trail, and Frisbee Golf Course to connect with outdoor activities. The reach of impact goes far beyond our Pre-K to 6 student body of 468 students with a Free and Reduced Lunch ratio of 53%. Family members, community members, childcare providers, and after school programs such as the Evergreen Boy and Girls Club are able to use this as the hub for outdoor activities for all ages.
Currently, our equipment is outdated and replacement parts can not be purchased due the company going out of business. Revitalization and rehabilitation of this area has not been a priority within a 15-20 year period. It is long overdue. The surfacing of our playground is mulch that has decomposed over time and needs to be replaced. The area is not ADA accessible and does not meet the needs of our special education students and community members. This project was identified as an issue/ need by the school administration and teaching staff.
In order to focus on the above issues, we have set a plan in place that due to financial constraints may take 3-5 years.
The proposed project will take the following steps/ phases:
Phase I will include removal of old equipment, mulch/wood chip surfacing, and current borders. The area will then be resurfaced with GT-Impax- Rubber tile surfacing with interlocking tiles 2'x2' and thickness of 3-1/4". Before the tile can be installed, the area will need to be excavated, gravel filled and paved. After the installation of surfacing, installation of playground system and swing system will replace the former equipment. The swing set will have two adaptive swings that meet ADA regulations.
The surfacing installed will be flush with the ground and the barrier that currently exists will not limit wheelchair accessibility for our students with a physical disability.
Phase II -An additional area will be installed adding equipment such as a rock climbing wall, high-stepper, Toss n Score, and Fire Engine climber for younger children. In addition, an Early Childhood play area for ages 2-5 will be incorporated.
Accessibility to the public was evaluated and with the help of the Homer-City Borough, two handicapped parking spaces will be added and a ramp will be reconstructed for wheelchair accessibility onto the sidewalk.
Donations can be sent to 65 Wildcat Lane
Checks can be made payable to: The Homer-Center Education Foundation
Earmarked/memo: Playground Project
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