IHS junior Corey Balthaser (left) gives a group of Isabella elementary students a boost as they give a new piece of playground equipment a whirl during P.E. Monday afternoon.
IHS junior Corey Balthaser (left) gives a group of Isabella elementary students a boost as they give a new piece of playground equipment a whirl during P.E. Monday afternoon.

Archived Story

Isabella unveils playground renovations

Published 5:48pm Monday, May 6, 2013

Isabella High School is nearly finished revamping its existing playground with new equipment, paint, picnic tables and groundwork just in time for students and community members to enjoy it this spring and summer.

Students have already begun using three new pieces of equipment were installed in April, and workers have almost completed repainting the older equipment and spreading gravel on top of a layer of sand to help the playground drain properly.

Isabella secretary Pam Bright spearheaded the renovation project and started writing grants last year for equipment to add to the original swing sets, slide, space arch and wooden fort installed in 2000.

Bright said the school raised about $5,000 to cover the cost of the three new pieces of equipment and gravel, including grants from Walmart, state Rep. Kurt Wallace’s office, PEECH (Partners Enhancing Education in Chilton County) and donations from a change drive fundraiser in which students collected change for several months and brought it to school.

Before becoming the IHS secretary, Bright served as an assistant P.E. teacher for seven years and said she saw room for improvement in the school’s only playground that accommodates about 400 students in kindergarten through sixth grade each day.

“I think I was as excited or more excited about it than the kids were,” Bright said. “I do like for the kids to have something nice to play on.”

Bright ordered two of the new equipment structures from AAA State of Play and received monetary donations and help from Brian Langston, who picked up and transported the equipment to the school to eliminate shipping costs.

IHS students Chase Giles, Corey Balthaser and Tyler Smith helped spread the gravel around the playground when they weren’t in class.

The playground now has nine pieces of equipment for students and their families to use.

“It’s not just limited to school,” Bright said. “It’s more like a community playground.”

Bright said additional equipment and upgrades could be added in the future if the school raises more money.

“It’s a work in progress,” Bright said.

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