Woodson students in for treat

Published 3:03 pm Saturday, October 30, 2010

Woodson Kindergarteners recite a pledge to take care of their new playground during a dedication ceremony Friday morning. - Eric Johnson/photodesk@austindailyherald.com

There’s more fun to be had at Woodson Kindergarten Center now that construction is complete on a brand addition to its playground.

The Woodson Neighborhood Playground was dedicated Friday morning after Woodson’s annual Halloween parade, after more than two years of fundraising and planning.

Joseph Ewing reads a note about what he likes most about the new playground at Woodson Kindergarten Friday morning during a dedication ceremony held indoors. - Eric Johnson/photodesk@austindailyherald.com

Thanks to $25,000 in donations, the playground at Woodson was able to put together another set of playground equipment which includes slides, ramps, tunnels and all sorts of other fun stuff, according to Woodson Principal Jean McDermott.

Email newsletter signup

The new equipment was installed earlier in the summer, thanks to the volunteer efforts of Woodson parents as well as community members who donated their time.

Some of the most important contributions came from the Austin Kiwanis Club, and the Accursos, Joe and Renee, which each donated $5,000 to the playground.

“I’ve been very impressed by the school district,” Joe Accurso said. “We wanted to give back to the community because we were able to.”

Much of the building supplies, such as the cement and other materials, were donated to the project by Austin Ready Mix.

“It’s great to see so many people in the community give back to the school district,” Austin Public School Board member Aaron Keenan said. Keenan helped organize volunteers and materials earlier this year.

10/29/10 A dedication sign will be placed along the fence facing 14th Ave. SE.

While $25,000 worth of playground equipment is nice, as it adds to the amount of equipment space kindergartners can play on, it’s about half the funds Woodson officials were hoping to raise.

Originally, the Woodson Kindergarten Center Playground Expansion project was designed to replace pieces of equipment that were installed over the past 30 years, before Woodson became a kindergarten center. Since the playground can serve up to150 kids at a time, kids which McDermott said are at an age where they’re more likely to want to play on the equipment, new equipment was necessary to accommodate the students’ needs.

To that end, the school hoped to raise $50,000 for the play system, adjustable basketball hoops, three jungle gyms and additional swing sets and benches. They also wanted to replace two of the mulched areas at the playground with rubber playground surfacing, which would be safer for the kids. Unfortunately, early rubber surfacing estimates came in at $175,000.

“In a perfect world, we’d love to put in rubber playground tiles,” McDermott said. “We would like to put in more swings and benches. Make it something more useful to the neighborhood and school.”