AUSTIN, Minn. – Schools are getting ready for the new school year, and for Banfield Elementary School in Austin, that means installing a new playground.
Jeff Roland is the Principal at Banfield. He said the old playground was about 30 years old and broken parts were getting hard to find and replace.
“The kids really now have something modern, safe, up to date…that they can enjoy,” he said.
And with features like a rock wall to climb, the new playground gives the school more than just a place for students to play.
“Our P.E. instructor can have a class of first graders go out use the playground and have the new things to work on. Coordination, balance, upper body, lower body strength, endurance, just by going on stations on the new playground,” Roland said.
But it does come at a price. The total cost of the new playground is about $131,000. This includes everything from demolition of the old set, shipping of new parts, construction of new playground, and putting in a new surface for it to sit on.
Roland said it’s a lot of money but worth a safe place for all kids in Austin to play.
“This is a community park as well as a school playground,” he said. “It's utilized summers, evenings, holidays, it's a great place for families to come, and now, to meet to enjoy times with each other to enjoy times with other families.”
The school made an initial payment for the playground but still owes about $80,000. Roland said the school plans to raise the rest of the money with fundraisers.
The school is also accepting donations. Checks can be made out to ‘Banfield playground’ and mailed to or dropped off at the school.
Banfield Elementary has until August 2019 to pay off the playground which will be fully installed by the end of this week.