TUSD communications specialist Joel Danoy said the new North School equipment will be a large addition to the school’s campus.
“We ordered a new unit, it’s a lot larger and will accommodate more kids,” Danoy said.
“It will have slides, monkey bars and different activities — it will be larger and have access by more students.”
North School Principal Frederick Medina said he had seen photos of the design and was excited they were getting a bigger playground.
“I can already see the kids having a great time on it,” Medina said. “It’s a much better design, larger with more activities for the kids.”
The new playground will be used by children in the 5 to 12-years-old range.
Danoy said North School will be one of four schools receiving new playground equipment after a district wide assessment of playgrounds in July called for replacement of old and worn equipment at Bohn, Central, Villalovoz and Poet Christian schools.
Poet Christian’s playground was slated as needing replacement within two years so it was pushed back a year to make way for North School after their playground was destroyed. Danoy said the Poet Christian playground would be replaced with funding in the district’s 2014-2015 budget.
All four schools will receive the same playground, a $41,000 three-section play structure featuring three slides, climbing areas, covered areas and new fall zone with mulch. The playgrounds will cover an area approximately 75 feet long by 45 feet wide on each campus.
The district ordered all four structures Dec. 9 and installation, which will cost $11,000 for each playground, will start during spring break on the third week of April. The installation cost covers the removal of the existing playground structures.
Danoy said the four new playgrounds will help cut costs in the future as the district standardizes the equipment. Different schools playgrounds have different brand of manufactures, some of them being old with no ready available repair parts. The district then would have to fabricate some repair parts from scratch at a high cost. The new playgrounds will allow the distinct to have a supply of parts for repairs.
Danoy said the district will continue to replace playgrounds at more schools as they are needed.
North School had an $8,000 playground set that included a climbing wall, slide and small enclosure on top destroyed by arson on the evening of November 11. The burned playground set had replaced a piece of equipment that had also been destroyed by arson in September 2012.
Danoy said precautions were being taken to safeguard the campus including security patrols and surveillance cameras although he declined to discuss them in detail.
“They are working to install better lighting to help the security cameras and help people see the playground at night,” Danoy said.
Medina said thought the new playground would be made of a more vandalism-resistant material but was worried after a third arson at the campus overnight Dec. 5 in a dumpster.
“All the kids play on it, I hope they leave it alone,” Medina said noting the community also keeps an eye on the campus and nearby El Pescadero Park.
Installation work will begin with Bohn School playground which was listed as needing the replacement the soonest with North School on the list next for installation.
Contact Glenn Moore at 830-4252 or firstname.lastname@example.org