The new Intermediate Playground Structure is IN! We will be officially unveiling it at the Fall Carnival on September 22nd, 2016 with a short ribbon cutting ceremony to recognize the major donors. The PAC thanks the hard work of the Playground Committee for their insight and hard work over the last two and a half years. Please do not hesitate to contact the PAC at juniperridgepac@hotmail.com for more information on this Intermediate Playground Structure.

There have been a few questions over the summer regarding the installation and location of the new structure. For the answers to many of your questions and concerns please see below:

Is it not supposed to be on the intermediate side?

Nope. It is where it is supposed to be. There was no available spot on the intermediate side to incorporate the structure and the safety zone.  The basketball court was off limits and the treed area near the existing portable may be needed for additional portables.  If installed on the upper sports field the installation would have been considered a ‘new installation’ and the PAC would have bore all the costs for excavation and moving the sprinklers (at least $25,000). If it were to go on the existing playground footprint it is considered an ‘expansion’ and the school district covers those associated earthworks costs.

How are you going to supervise who goes on it?

It is still very much an intermediate play structure. The administration was aware that a supervision plan was going to be needed to reflect this when they approved the site plan in January. A fair supervision plan lead by the administration is in the works so that intermediates will get easy access to this new playground structure.

Spinner bowlAre there less swings?

Yes. In order for the new structure and footings to be installed in a way to be safe when used, two swings had to be removed. To compensate for this, two new Spinner Bowls were added to the existing playground to replace the two swings.  The spinner bowls provide the same “vestibular stimulation” as swinging. (Yes, that is a real word!)

Why is there bark mulch?

According to the maintenance department, Juniper Ridge Elementary was due for an upgrade and they made the decision independent to the administration or the PAC to provide us with bark mulch. The timing of our upgrade coincided with the new playground structure. Fortunately for us, the recommended media for the new Explorer Dome is bark mulch because it acts as a better fall protection buffer than pea gravel, especially in cold weather. We are thankful to the maintenance department for this as the bark mulch is very expensive and we did not have additional funds to purchase the correct media.