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Bond Funds Build New Playgrounds

Bond Funds Build New Playgrounds
Posted on 08/30/2019
A student explores new playground at Belmar ElementaryThey look like elaborate pieces of artwork from the air. New playground equipment, freshly installed at Columbine Hills elementary in Littleton -- all bought and paid for with taxpayer approved bond money. Columbine Hills students even got to be part of the design process.

“The best day was we had [was when] the design company brought in some examples of like slide equipment versus climbing equipment. And they had big boards -- we had them up for the kids to look at during lunchtime and then they all get a vote,” said Christa Wilson, Columbine Hills Elementary School Principal.

The new look at the school was a long time coming. Bernadette Kelly, the Jeffco Construction Project Manager -- tasked with overseeing the project -- saw first-hand the need for the playground’s transformation. “[It was] original metal equipment from the 1960’s....this place needed some love,” Kelly stated. 

A brand new field adjacent to the playground is part of the upgrade, part of a consolidation plan that is helping Wilson and her staff keep better track of kids at recess.

“We had kids way off in our field to the east of our school and then we had the playground and then we had kids wrapped around the school trying to play basketball,” Wilson said of the old layout. 

Gone is the pea gravel as well, this new playground surface is designed for safety. “We've added the wood fiber that's called engineered wood fiber. So the kids are falling on a nice, soft surface. And they're not tracking pea gravel into the school. [To install it] you have to dig down and it has to drain and so there's a lot of excavation involved in that,” said Kelly of the extensive installation process. 

This particular bond project has been supercharged with the help of Columbine Hills community volunteers. “When we did our community build which actually gave us more money to spend on our playground equipment, we had over 60 volunteers show up that day to help us,” Wilson shared. “So truly a community event. People are excited.”

The Belmar School of Integrated Arts is another elementary school getting a new playground, one of eight that are on the list for this first bond spending rollout. Steve Bell, Jeffco Chief Operating Officer knows the importance of these bond investments, both personally and professionally. 

“As a long term Jeffco resident, a product of Jeffco Schools and still a current resident in this school district, it is exciting,  it's invigorating and recall that the last time that this district was able to do significant capital improvements to our physical assets was with the authorization of the 2004 bonds,” Bell stated.

It will be a fun school year for many Jeffco students who now have amazing playgrounds,  all thanks to our Jeffco voters and community.

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