New playground scores with Fairfield students

11/27/2012
BY JENNIFER FEEHAN
BLADE STAFF WRITER
Third graders enjoy the new playground equipment at Fairfield School in Maumee.
Third graders enjoy the new playground equipment at Fairfield School in Maumee.

Fairfield Elementary second-grader Audrey Harrigan likes the “twisty ladders” best.

Her classmate, Rebecca Cade, likes the fact that there are lots of slides -- seven in all -- so that lots of kids can go down them at the same time.

And, 8-year-old Macy Butler likes the tunnel on her school’s bright, new, blue and purple play structure even though the need for a tunnel rule quickly became apparent.

“Everybody was getting stuck in it so they made a rule -- one way only,” Macy said.

Students at the the Maumee City Schools elementary say they’re crazy about the new play structure installed earlier this month on what previously was just an empty yard.

“The kids have been so excited,” said Fairfield Principal Michele Eble. “They’ve been waiting and waiting for months.”

Ms. Eble said the need for new play equipment became obvious last year after the district restructured its four elementary schools -- eliminating Union, converting Fairfield and Fort Miami to K-3 buildings, and housing all fourth and fifth graders at Wayne Trail.

Fairfield, located on Eastfield Drive, went from having about 200 children in kindergarten through fifth grade to having more than 400 youngsters in kindergarten through third grade.

Third grader Amore Kennedy, 8, works her way across the rings on the new playground equipment at Fairfield School in Maumee.
Third grader Amore Kennedy, 8, works her way across the rings on the new playground equipment at Fairfield School in Maumee.

“We doubled the number of kids and they all became younger kids,” Ms. Eble said. “Our playground was not appropriate. The parents club noticed that need and took it on and decided that all the fund-raising money would go to this playground.”

The $35,000 play structure along with mulch and concrete ended up costing the group about $28,000, Ms. Eble said, because the parent club received a grant from the manufacturer, GameTime, that defrayed the equipment purchase.

Suzan Pant, president of Fairfield Families, said all of the money raised at the school’s three main fund-raisers this year -- the annual fun walk held this fall, a candy bar sale now unde rway, and a Frankenmuth Fund-raiser in the spring -- will be put toward paying for the new playground.

Parents volunteered to install it to cut costs, and the decision was made to get it in place yet this fall.

“We wanted our third graders who are working so hard to fund raise to be able to play on it,” Ms. Pant said.

By all accounts, it’s a big hit.

Second-grader Autumn Miller couldn’t decide on her favorite feature of the playground, which was crawling with kids during recess one day last week.

“I like everything really,” she said.

Contact Jennifer Feehan at jfeehan@theblade.com or 419-724-6129.