Alta playground project in need of donations

Friday, September 18, 2020

The Alta Elementary School playground needs to be replaced, but more funds are required in addition to the $75,000 grant that was awarded by ABCreative. The proposed playground project is a joint effort funded and organized by the City of Alta and Alta-Aurelia school district.

The elementary school/community playground, more than 20 years old, has served its time, Heidi Reetz, chair of the Alta Park Board, said. “It has been a great one.” Reetz is concerned they may lose the grant if additional money is not raised. If the grant is retained, the $75,000 will be discounted from the total cost of the project, she said.

“We are still working on raising funds for the playground project. We really need everyone’s help on this. We have a grant from the playground company we don’t want to lose,” Reetz said. “We also take donations as well and if anyone has questions they can give me a call. I will try my best to answer their questions.” Her phone number is 712-229-0717.

Alta-Aurelia school superintendent William Walters said the playground is a project that is long overdue. “The current playground at Alta Elementary has lived well past its time. It is over 20 years old and made of wood. It is starting to crack and splinter badly. We are almost to the point that we may no longer be able to use it,” Walters said.

“Back in 1993 this was a wonderful community project,” he said. “Many Alta citizens contributed to the building of that playground. Like anything else, time has set in on the structure. We need to replace it and it’s important to our school district and the city of Alta. Kids play on it both during and after school hours. It is a very popular play location for our elementary aged students.”

“Removing and replacing that playground is not something we want to do, it’s something we have to do for the safety of our children,” Walters said. “Great sentimental value attached to that playground. Many citizens grew up playing on it or helped build it. Moving forward we have to make a change.”

Fundraising efforts have helped. A fiesta fundraiser held in February, organized by the Warrior Parent Teacher Organization, brought in more than $14,000 for the project. Upcoming fundraisers include one on Oct. 6th and another will span from Dec. 12th to Jan. 6th with Scratch Cupcakery.

Updates have been made to the playground to maintain safety standards, but due to current building codes, replacement is inevitable. The Park Board understands this is a big project, but that it would benefit the city, school and the kids who need something new. Reetz said there have been pieces removed from the school playground for safety, and another problem with the playground is the wasps.

She has more reasons why a new playground is necessary. “With the city we are trying to give something for every age group of kid and something different from the school as well. Also give something for families in our town, also for visiting people as well to our town.”

The playground is well-used, especially now due to COVID-19. Before the start of the school year in August, Alta Elementary School Principal Stacy Mueller said when the school year begins, a plan is to have students go outside as much as possible to socially distance and breathe fresh air, and the playground is a prime location.