The students at Evergreen Elementary School got their first chance to run, jump and play on a new big toy last Thursday.
Peninsula School District officials attended the official ribbon cutting at the start of recess. The big toy, in its bright and colorful grandeur, is the first of its kind at Evergreen.
“We didn’t have anything located in that area before,” first-year principal Hugh Maxwell said. “We just haven’t been able to raise the funds to build a play structure that meets the needs of all our kids, K through five. So we were really excited when the district was able to find some additional funding and be able to focus that on the play structure on the playground for our students.”
Although planning has been in the works for a while, Maxwell said he first learned about the project when he saw some district maintenance workers on the playground.
“I went out to meet them — that was one of my first days of work here,” Maxwell said. “They were talking about developing a multiyear plan for all of the elementary schools to address playground needs and field needs. So we started talking about there might be an opportunity to put a play structure on our playground, so I was supportive of that.”
Maxwell said people have been thanking him for the big toy, but he deflected thanks to Superintendent Chuck Cuzzetto, Academic Officer Dan Gregory and Ernie Elton, the district’s director of facilities.
“I just happened to be the person that came in to be the principal at the time,” Maxwell said.
Maxwell said he thinks the most popular feature will be three intertwining slides.
“Three friends can go down it at the same time,” he said. “I think that’ll be the part they like the best.”
The Peninsula School District emphasizes active students and exercise, and Maxwell said he hopes the big toy will promote physical activity.
“There’s a lot of opportunity for kids to climb and slide — and just movement,” he said. “The way it’s designed, it’s going to create kids moving a lot and just being really active. Besides, it’s just so colorful and bright that it’s going to be hard for kids to not want to play on there.”Reporter Jon Manley can be reached at 253-358-4151 or by email at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter, @gateway_jon.