February 4, 2010 at 8:33 a.m.

Parents and Staff at Chisago Lakes Primary working together to build a new playground

Parents and Staff at Chisago Lakes Primary working together to build a new playground
Parents and Staff at Chisago Lakes Primary working together to build a new playground

The Chisago Lakes Parent Teacher Organization began planning and fundraising for a new Primary School playground project last year. A large drainage ditch in the playground was filled over the summer to prepare the site for new equipment. The drainage ditch was a magnet for kids when it filled with water over the spring months, so it was a much needed improvement to the area, according to School principal Brenda Schell.

A playground committee, led by parent Amy Ralidak, was formed and the committee collected bids and designs from several companies. A design has been chosen and fundraising has begun. A total of about $40,000 will need to be raised to move forward with the project - a lofty goal that we truly believe is obtainable, Schell added. The company selected is Midwest Playscapes of Chaska.

Fund raisers underway include;

The Primary School held a Wildcat sweatshirt sale which brought in about $4,000.

A Wild West themed dinner and silent auction will be held at the Primary School March 19.

Chisago Road House is sponsoring a snowmobile run February 20, with all proceeds designated for the playground.

"Pennies for Playground" donation jars have been placed around town at local businesses as well.

Letters requesting financial support have been mailed to Fortune 500 Companies.

Applications have been completed for playground grants.

The playground committee is convinced that enough funds can be secured to move forward with a June installation. Students entering school in September 2010 will be able to begin using the new equipment. "Our goal is to make our playground safe, fun, and able to accommodate our growing community." If you would like to be involved in this project in some way, please contact Amy Ralidak at 651-261-5810 or Brenda Schell at 213-2201.

In the last 25 years, building enrollment has grown quite dramatically. In addition, this school year, Primary School has the honor of hosting pre-school. On any given day, the playground is shared by approximately 300 students - ages 4 through 7. Principal Schell said, "The equipment has served us well. However, there just simply is not enough equipment for all of our youngsters to utilize. Let's not forget that this playground is also an attraction in the summer months and after school for Kids Club programs and local families."


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