Town gives donation to school for playground equipment

Published 7:17 pm Tuesday, September 9, 2014

The Maplesville Town Council voted unanimously Monday to donate $5,000 to Maplesville High School for new playground equipment.

Brittany Yeargan, an elementary teacher at Maplesville, addressed the council during the meeting Monday about the school’s need for funding to replace the deteriorating equipment with new structures.

“Our playground at Maplesville is pathetic,” Yeargan said. “Most items have been in place for 20 years. We currently have some swing sets that are not functioning.”

Yeargan said the school currently has one piece of multi-function playground equipment consisting of two small slides and a small climbing wall.

Other, stand-alone equipment includes four swing sets with four swings each, one metal slide and six sets of gymnastic bars.

Yeargan said despite routine maintenance, on average, five bone breaks due to playground equipment malfunctions occur each year at the school.

A student recently suffered a broken finger when she fell off a swing after the chain broke, Yeargan said.

Yeargan decided to spearhead a fundraising campaign for purchasing new, safer equipment that will accommodate more children at one time.

“The education system is tight, we don’t have the extra money and we don’t have a PTO,” Yeargan said. “Our students need it desperately.”

The equipment Yeargan hopes to purchase would cost the school $25,000 if ordered before Nov. 7.

The regular price of the equipment is $50,000, but the school would only pay $25,000 with the remaining $25,000 matched by the equipment company.

Yeargan said donations totaling $16,000 came in over the last four days.

The new equipment would hold 35-45 children ages 5-12 at a time.

Yeargan said the average class size at Maplesville is 35 students, and each class spends nearly 40 minutes a day on the playground.

After listening to Yeargan, council members expressed interest in donating to the campaign.

“I think we need to do it,” councilwoman Hilda Atchison said.

Atchison made a motion for the town to donate $5,000 to Maplesville High School to purchase new playground equipment.

Councilman Richard Davis seconded the motion, and he, Atchison and council members Hal Harrison, Sheila Hall and Patty Crocker voted in favor.

“We’re glad to help out,” Mayor W.C. Hayes Jr. said.

Yeargan thanked the council for the donation and emphasized that the equipment is for students and other children in the community to enjoy.

“You can take your grandchildren or great-grandchildren there,” Yeargan said. “It’s greatly appreciated.”

Yeargan said donations will be accepted at the school or can be submitted at