The Case of a Lawrence Playground – The Lawrentian


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Disclaimer: This article is a satirical work

This summer, Lawrence has undergone several different upgrades and construction projects. When these plans were announced I was filled with hope that some of my concerns about Lawrence’s accessibility issues would be resolved – I had visions of new wheelchair ramps, accessible doors upgrades and elevator repairs. However, only a few of these issues were resolved this summer. But before my frustrations got the better of me, the sight of my favorite campus upgrade completely erased them from my head. I was just overjoyed at the sight of a brand new entrance arch.

Conveniently located as far from most campus activities as possible, the arch is a symbol of Lawrentian pride. I was so excited that I started thinking of other ways, besides better accessibility and infrastructure updates, that we could invest our time and massive budget in order to improve the Lawrence experience for everyone. What better way to boost student morale than to install a playground? Some might stop me here – “Why a playground? Aren’t there better and more sophisticated ways to use our money? Things we could invest in that actually serve a function for most of the student population? Simply put, a playground is much more interactive than a decorative arch, as well as more visually appealing. Who isn’t filled with a child-like sense of wonder when going down a slide? It could even be Viking themed or painted blue and white. Children’s playgrounds have many benefits: they improve social and motor skills while allowing exercise and creativity. Why not have one for us middle schoolers? Rather than spending breaks between classes sitting indoors, we could all swing on swings and build strong interpersonal relationships on swings. Although information on the exact costs and sources of funding for some of the upgrades that took place this summer, particularly the arch (which was a gift from a generous donor) is difficult to come by, it can be assumed that they were very expensive. According to a post on the LU website, approximately $150,000 was raised to pave the way behind the Warch Campus Center. Gametime.com reports that installing a full-scale inclusive playground could cost around the same amount. Lawrence also has tons of space available for this slice, potential locations could include Main Hall Green just across from the library for maximum foot traffic, or Ormsby Lake so the new arch could lead Lawrentians into its colorful distraction. Perhaps it could even replace the football pitch; the Banta Bowl has enough space for a large playground, and possibly a skatepark as well. A playground would not only benefit current students, but it would set Lawrence apart from other universities without playgrounds and attract future students. Obviously, a playground would be the best and most obvious choice for Lawrence’s next batch of campus upgrades, as it’s functional, fun, and 100% financially appropriate.

Harold B. McConnell