Before the new school year began, community volunteers spent countless hours reconstructing the playground with new equipment purchased with the help of the school's PTA and Student Council.
Sheri Koetsier, a math intervention teacher assistant at Robinson Elementary School and president of the school's PTA, said the purchase was made possible through previous PTAs setting money aside, along with the current group’s financial contribution to make the $17,000 purchase.
Koetsier said the project wouldn’t have been possible without the help of the community.
The members of the school's Student Council reached out to their classmates, asking what they would like to see on the playground. Koetsier said they received some unique responses, including a disco ball and hot tub, but they also learned students wanted more monkey bars and items that spin.
“What started as a small project just kept snowballing,” she said.
As a group of volunteers began removing pea gravel and old equipment from one portion of the playground, Koetsier said the project grew to removing all of the gravel and replacing it with woodchips.
Koetsier said Karl Chapel, owner of Grand Haven Excavating, removed the pea gravel and old equipment without charge; Bill Tysman of Bill Tysman Trucking provided dump trucks for the removal; S&M Gravel Co. donated a big heap of clean sand for the sandbox; SYP Trucking LLC helped haul away pea gravel without cost; and Steve Bolhuis of Beacon Recycling provided them with a dumpster for the old metal equipment without cost.
Jayson Skogler, a parent of two Robinson students, spent hours hammering cement away from the old play structures so the metal could be recycled. Skogler and Tim Bublitz also brought in loaders to remove the pea gravel.
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