OSAWATOMIE – Swenson Early Childhood Center will offer a new play area during the 2022-23 school year.
School administration, staff and sponsors gathered for a ribbon-cutting ceremony in late May at Osawatomie School. The deadline for completion, weather permitting, is August.
The playground will consist of four play areas.
Zone 1 will include four regular swings. Area 2 will have saucer swings. Zone 3 will have a playhouse structure with a roller slide, climbing wall, ground level tunnel, climbing stairs, benches and display cases. Zone 4 will have an Orb rocker and two types of spinning equipment.
The playground will also include a canopy and musical play pieces, a trike shed, grass in each area, a concrete tricycle path around the perimeter with a driving window, a pickup window, a gas station and random street signs everywhere. all the way to the tricycle. There will also be a concrete area for a basketball goal and ball funnels. There will be a large grassed area for more space, football and other activities.
The estimated cost of the playground is between $200,000 and $250,000, depending on the school district.
“Before COVID, our building went through KSDE’s Gemini II redesign process where we were trained for at least a year to identify the specific needs of our building based on information gathered from the community, families, needs assessments, parent and staff surveys, and our building’s mission and vision statements,” Swenson Principal Andrea Manes said in an email. “We researched and piloted many ideas , collected enough data to prove our needs and determined the means necessary to meet our needs and objectives.
Project sponsors are Lang Chevrolet, Phillips 66, First Option Bank, Webb Hawkins Grant via First Option Bank, Miami County Medical Center, Osawatomie USD 367 Partners in Education, Cloverleaf, ABCreative, USD 367 school district and board of education, Patterson Family Foundation and Osawatomie High School Shop Class.
The additional playground will provide all students with the opportunity to fit play into their daily schedule at school, Manes said.
“Students who have sensory needs, different disabilities and disabilities, and social-emotional difficulties will have the opportunity to work on concerns, needs, and/or emotions while playing on the playground which has seven different play modes “said Manes. “Creating this playground will allow us to work with all students, regardless of their needs or abilities, through the most effective way for early years students to learn and play. Community Playground also helps us link our goals in partnership with our community and families.”