Boothbay Region Elementary School students will be coming back from summer vacation to exciting changes. As the Boothbay-Boothbay Harbor Community School District puts behind it the first budget season since tackling school building issues, some of which will be fixed or in the works by September, a new third through eighth grade playground will be ready.
The structures will come about a year after the school’s first phase project, a pre-kindergarten through second grade playground, which opened last fall. BRES Assistant Principal Tricia Campbell recently gave updates at the CSD Board of Trustees and School Committee meetings.
Since then, after $28,000 was awarded from Campbell’s grant writing and $3,500 from the BRES Parent Teacher Organization, among other funds, Campbell announced the remaining $826.83 of the $35,531.83 project cost has been covered and the equipment will be delivered in June.
“Thanks to grants, the BRES PTO and the CSD Board of Trustees we have the funding and resources to complete Phase Two …," said Campbell.
The new equipment will include a three-bay swing set, a playground structure with seven elevated and three ground level activities, and a gravity diamond. After meeting with Facilities and Transportation Director Dave Benner and Maine Recreation and Design’s Eric Welzel, Campbell said the new playground would be in the place of the old one, to avoid taking any field space away from sports and other extracurricular activities.
Also pitching in to enhance the beauty and functionality of the schools’ campus were various students from Boothbay Region High School’s shop classes. Teacher Chip Schwehm asked Campbell if there was anything the students could do to help. “Picnic tables,” said Campbell.
“These guys had an awesome attitude,” Schwehm said as students Riley Faulkingham, Jordan Carrier and Jake Kelley helped move the six tables up the hill to the playground area and out in front of BRES. “I can't even count how many days they spent working on the tables and it was pretty much of their own free will. They even came in for a Saturday. They just like making things. It was a good cause.”
As Kelley broke early to catch the Edgecomb bus, Faulkingham and Carrier continued muscling the remainder of the tables to various spots requested by Campbell.
“It was long and time consuming, but we worked together and got it done,” said Faulkingham. “The final outcome was definitely worth the time.
Campbell said the collective work everyone puts in accentuates what has always been true about the BRES/BRHS campus: It is an immense community resource during and after school hours.
Said Campbell, “It is available to support student learning, growth, competition and physical health. It is a place where families and friends can enjoy the beautiful sports fields, tennis courts, cross country trails, and two wonderful playgrounds. I am excited to see children and families enjoy all we have to offer. I feel blessed to be part of such a wonderful and supportive community!”