A ceremonial ribbon cutting, some brief speeches, then plenty of time to try out the new playground equipment was on the schedule for students at Farmington Elementary School recently.
The special event was hosted early morning Wednesday, Aug. 20, as Escalon Unified School District Superintendent Ron Costa, joined by school board members Richard Thompson and John Largent, gathered for the ribbon cutting and equipment inauguration.
“The work was funded through the district, our prior slide wasn’t repairable, it was very old,” new Farmington Elementary Principal Anna Ellerson explained. “The project was just completed that (Wednesday) morning, they had to put all the bark in.”
Once the bark was added, the ribbon was strung and the district personnel got the celebration started by snipping the bright red ribbon and encouraging staff and students to try out the new structure.
“It is a whole playground set, it actually has three slides and a tunnel that you get to climb through,” Ellerson added, noting that she was able to help design the piece, working with the GameTime company that builds the structures.
Ellerson said she met with a representative of the company, out of San Francisco, and designed the playground with a budget in mind.
“We had a price that we couldn’t go over,” she said. “We designed it and it just got delivered the week before school was ready to start, they hired a contractor to put it in.”
The green and gold structure is done in the school colors of Farmington and Ellerson said the local school maintenance crew had the area prepped and ready for installation of the new equipment.
“It’s a little more extravagant,” Ellerson said of the equipment it replaced. “The kids seem to love it, they are taking pride in their school and it looks amazing out here.”
With everyone in attendance – including school board members, administrators and teachers – taking a turn on the slide, the kids also had the chance to enjoy some extra play time on Wednesday.
“We’re just excited because these kids out here deserve something like that,” Ellerson noted. “It was fantastic of the board to approve it, most of the time a PTC (Parent-Teacher group) will help, but we weren’t able to afford a playground.”
With funding from the district, the playground was put in, Ellerson added, and the school’s PTC was able to purchase a new playground shed that will hold all the school’s physical education equipment.
Ellerson said students and staff alike are very appreciative of their new playground.
“It looks amazing,” she said.