Rendering

Community volunteers will assist in the installation of new playground equipment at James Burd Elementary School Aug. 8. Pictured is the draft design of the new playground equipment.

James Burd Elementary School has announced the date of its community installation for its new and improved playground. Thursday, Aug. 8, has been reserved as the morning and afternoon for the James Burd Community Playground Build, a time in which volunteers will help assemble new playground equipment. The new equipment will replace equipment that is between 15 and 25 years old.

“This will be exemplary of what a team can do when they work together,” said Principal Scott Shapiro. “We welcome any and all volunteers, whether it be for 30 minutes or the whole day.”

The playground will allow playtime to be more inclusive for children of all abilities, Shapiro previously noted. The installation will also double the amount of students who can safely play on the playground at once. Two existing plastic structures with slides will stay put after being deemed safe and having longevity, he said, while the rest of the current playground will be demoed within the next few weeks.

This “neighborhood project” will begin at 7:30 a.m. with a ground-breaking ceremony. Throughout the day, volunteers will assist in assembling the playground under the direction of three certified playground inspectors from Miracle Recreation, the supplier of the equipment. 

Music will be played, while breakfast, coffee and lunch will be provided. The hope is to have the entire playground assembled by 5:30 p.m. 

“This seems to be very ambitious, but the Miracle workers have indicated that it is very feasible,” Shapiro said.

The school announced in mid-June the necessary funding had been secured to purchase the new playtime equipment through the generosity of multiple local businesses and organizations. Shapiro said the school raised a little more than $25,000, and unlocked an additional $25,000 from JLG Industries as part of a matching grant. JLG Industries will also contribute 15-20 members of its own staff to help with assembly Aug. 8. Miracle has recommended 20-25 volunteers be on hand to assist, but Shapiro noted more volunteers means the process will be a lot smoother and quicker.

The Greyhound Foundation donated $10,000, while the Partnership for Better Health in Carlisle donated $5,000.

Representatives from these two organizations have been invited to the community build day. 

Mulch will be delivered the following week after assembly is completed, and everything is expected to be ready to go by the time students arrive for their first day of school Aug. 22.

Volunteers must be ages 18 and older to participate in the community build. Little to no experience is necessary. Shapiro said a majority of the day will be spent assembling, so the ability to use a screwdriver or drill is a plus. He said volunteers can also assist with smaller tasks, such as preparing and serving refreshments.

James Burd is seeking additional donations to secure rubber mulching, estimated at $50,000-$70,000, beneath the playground equipment, which would limit injuries and reduce recurring cost associated with the current mulch.

If interested in making a donation, contact the school for the necessary forms at: (717) 530-2780. Any questions should be directed to Shapiro by calling the school, or emailing: Scott.Shapiro@ship.k12.pa.us.

To sign up to volunteer for a time slot, and indicate any tools to be provided, visit: https://www.signupgenius.com/go/8050f4da5a729a75-james1.

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