Washington Irving School's new playground will be completed in time for the 2011-2012 school year, if organizers get enough community help this month.
A community work date has been set to install the playground's new features, which will include a climbing wall and two orb-like structures that will encourage climbing, balancing and imaginative, creative play.
"We're going to build it, and we're trying to get as many people to help out as we can," said EPTA co-president David Neilsen.
The WI playground has been in the works since 2010, when the Public Schools of the Tarrtowns EPTA began fundraising, month by month, to support a new play structure that would be suitable for children in the 3rd to 5th grade.
Penny raffles, walk-a-thons, book sales and even bingo were used to raise funds for the project. Families, banks, non-profits and businesses also donated to the cause. In total, efforts have netted over $65,000.
"It's been a full community effort and the build date will be the climax of that," said Neilsen. "We're hoping to have 70 to 80 people come out."
The community build will occur on Saturday, August 27, with any additional work to be completed the following day on August 28. Some local restaurants are providing food for the occasion, while other businesses are supplying tools and manpower.
Up until that build date, other entities will set the groundwork for the community project.
The school district has helped by sanding down and painting a portion of the wall located on the Franklin Street edge of the WI property. This wall will be used for climbing (up to eight feet), while the other half will continue to be used for wall ball.
The Village of Tarrytown is also lending their support with the trimming of a tree on the property and the removal of asphalt, which will be replaced with playground-safe wood chips and flooring.
The company that designed the playground, Designed for Fun, has begun ordering materials that will begin to arrive this month. Those items will be stored in a school-district supplied container until building day.
While efforts are steamrolling ahead, there is still a need to raise more funds.
"Designed for Fun said they would cover whatever we can't afford now, and we can pay them back," Neilsen said. "We're still looking to raise an additional $20,000."
Those interested can sponsor handholds on the climbing wall, or make general donations.
Neilsen said that any money raised beyond that needed to pay for the playground would likely go toward a memorial garden in memory of Michele Chebetar, who was an integral part of the campaign for the new playground up until her passing in May.
"We're hoping there will be enough for a commemorative garden, she meant a lot to us," Neilsen said.
Building is set to begin promptly at 8 a.m. on Saturday, August 27 and Sunday August 28 (if needed). If you intend to help out, please contact David Neilsen prior to showing up at: email@example.com