Elementary schools in district getting new playgrounds - KSWO 7News | Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Elementary schools in district getting new playgrounds

(Source KSWO) (Source KSWO)
(Source KSWO) (Source KSWO)

LAWTON, OK (KSWO) - Elementary students in the Lawton Public School District will soon be getting new playgrounds at each school. 
The first phase of the project is underway.The equipment at four schools Carriage Hills, Sullivan Village, Hugh Bish, and Pioneer Park has already been installed. Playgrounds at Ridgecrest, Eisenhower, and Learning Tree Academy are still being worked on, and should be finished by the end of the month. 

After that, workers will then move on to the nine remaining schools in the district. 

"We started looking about a year and a half ago at our facilities across the district and there was a need for playgrounds, new play grounds for our school", said Smith.

Executive Director of Operations Kyle Smith said the current playgrounds at elementary schools in the district are about  15 to 20 years old. 

A school bond was passed in 2014 to improve facilities across the district and Lawton Public School wanted to upgrade 16 elementary schools. Smith said the new playgrounds are costly but have several features, including a special turf material on the ground that keep kids safe. 

"All of them have four slides, climbing walls, those kind of things and the price has been running around 40,000 for each playground", said Smith.

While the schools will have some similar features, Hugh Bish Elementary will have a walking ramp for kids with handicaps. Smith said it's very difficult for those kids to climb up stairs so providing a ramp was a priority.

"Wheel chairs can be pushed up to the top of the slide and kids can be slide down the slide to an aide at the bottom. They would be put back in the wheelchair and can participate just like the regular kids do. It's very important that they just don't have to sit by the side and watch kids play on the play sets and not get to participate and this is a great opportunity for those kids to have that", said Smith.

A company called Little Tikes is installing all of the equipment. It takes 10 to 15 days for construction on each playground.

The first phase of the project is expected to complete by February. The workers will begin on the second phase to install playgrounds at Adams, Almor West, Cleveland, Edison, Lincoln, Pat Henry, Washington, Whittier and Woodland Hills. 

Smith said those will be complete before the start of the new school year. 

"I'm personally excited for it because I get to go out there and view the  kids on the playground and as the playgrounds go up across the district and see the excitement in the kids eyes when they run out and they finally get to get on the playgrounds", said Smith.

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