The new Imagination Kingdom playground build has been rescheduled, Greenfield Exempted Village School District Superintendent Quincey Gray told The Times-Gazette. The build will take place Friday, March 6 through Sunday, March 8.
On Wednesday, Gray and other district administrators met with a construction site manager from Midstates Recreation and three local volunteer foremen who will be leading various aspects of the build due to their expertise.
”The new dates are going to work a lot better for volunteers to be involved because now we’ll be able to have two weekend days instead of just one,” Gray said.
According to Gray, March 6 will mostly include work in preparation to assemble the playground equipment, which will begin on March 7. March 8 will include final touches, like mulching.
March 6 will have a smaller group of volunteers as well as McClain FFA and Cadet Corps students, Gray said.
“Saturday and Sunday will be the bulk of volunteers,” Gray said. “The minimum requirement now is 30 volunteers, but I think we’ll probably have more than that.”
Gray said a truck is expected to deliver materials for the build on Friday morning, and then the work begins.
“They like to work a long day and work as long as they can,” Gray said. “On Saturday and Sunday, they’ll start at 8 a.m., and they’ll work all day, especially Saturday, I’m sure. Sunday, everything might be wrapped up, and they’ll be done, but their idea is to work as long as they can to be able to accomplish as much in the day as they can. The plan is that by the end of the work day Sunday, it’ll be completely done — mulched and everything.”
Gray said breakfast, lunch and bottled water will be available for volunteers and workers for every day of the build, thanks to multiple local organizations.
According to Gray, the build will happen regardless of the weather as long as there’s no lightning, and she doesn’t expect that to be an issue.
At a January meeting regarding the Imagination Kingdom build, Gray said one of the reasons the district ultimately chose Midstates Recreation was because the playground could be assembled by the community, just as the original playground was.
The original Imagination Kingdom was built over a five-day period in early May 1993 by more than 1,000 volunteers including doctors, lawyers, construction workers, factory workers, teachers, parents, grandparents and students, Sue Zint, who was the elementary principal at the time of the Imagination Kingdom’s inception, said.
In early December 2019, Gray announced the playground would be demolished due to the inability to correctly and safely repair the former structure as the parts are no longer made.
The new playground equipment will be easier to maintain. According to Gray, there will be “QR” codes on the equipment that GEVSD’s maintenance team can electronically scan, which will make ordering replacement parts much easier.
“Throughout this project, our goal has been to maintain the history behind the old playground and provide something new,” Gray said. “We wanted to find a balance between something totally way out there design-wise and something more traditional, and I feel like we were able to do that.”
As previously reported, the main area of the new equipment will be in a sort of semi-circular shape with other play equipment fanning out from there. The new equipment will be situated in about the same area as the old playground and includes slides, climbing equipment, spinning equipment, a teeter totter, swings, benches and picnic tables, and green space. The new playground will also include an ADA accessible merry-go-round and two ADA accessible swings.
Those who donate or help during the build will be recognized at a GEVSD school board meeting after the build is complete.
Gray said at a meeting in January there will be three recognition tiers:
Bronze — those who help during the build or make a donation under $60 will be recognized at a school board meeting.
Silver — those who purchase a paver stone for $60 will choose what to put on that stone and will also be recognized at a school board meeting.
Gold — those who donate $1,000 or more will get their names on a new donor stone and will also be recognized at a school board meeting.
The original paver stones and the original donor stone will remain, and the playground will still be named the Imagination Kingdom.
Paver stones are still available for purchase. Though there is no current deadline for paver stone purchases, the paver stones will be installed in warmer weather. Gray said the district will announce a deadline closer to that time.
Paver stones are $60 each.
Those interested in volunteering or purchasing a paver stone can find the form on the “Greenfield Exempted Village School District” Facebook page and by searching “paver” on the school’s website, greenfield.k12.oh.us. Those with questions can reach the school at 937-981-2152.
Reach McKenzie Caldwell at 937-402-2570.