By Linda Dillman
Preschoolers and students with disabilities at Winchester Trail Elementary in Canal Winchester could have a nice surprise when they return from summer vacation.
The Canal Winchester Board of Education has approved the purchase of up to $50,000 in preschool and special needs playground equipment for the Winchester Trail Elementary campus.
The purchase is part of the district’s fiscal year 2018 spending plan. Over $18,400 of the total cost will be charged back to an Early Childhood Special Education Federal Grant.
According to Maleea Anderson, preschool coordinator, there are more than 1,000 students attending the school. Ninety-seven are preschoolers and 148 have special needs.
“Parents came to me saying, ‘What can we do?’” Anderson said. “We need to develop something to address those needs.”
With recommendations from parents and staff members, a plan for the playground was developed incorporating large equipment addressing the needs of the preschoolers, as well as those in need of sensory-based and adaptive pieces, such as a pair of swings that accommodate special needs children.
According to Anderson, the current playground equipment is rated for seven to 12-year-olds.
The plan is to locate the new playground on a grassy area behind the school.
“We would need 15 to 20 volunteers to build it,” said Anderson. “We have a meeting planned later this month to reach out to parents to volunteer. It’s a one-day build. The cost is $49,512 including all equipment and shipping. We just have to install it. It would be another $10,000 if we paid for installation.”
Anderson said money needs to be set aside for concrete, but she submitted donation applications and is hopeful they will be approved.
“This sounds fantastic and like something that’s really needed,” said board member Kevin Butler.
Other CW school board news
•The board approved a contract with Rush Bus Centers for a 2019 77-passenger conventional bus for costs or exceeding $80,975 and a 2019 48-passenger bus with a lift for up to $93,762.
•A contract was also approved with Heiberger Paving for parking lot/paving repair at the district’s operations center. Total costs are not to exceed $43,600.