Greenfield Elementary’s fifth-graders had a chance to explore the new Imagination Kingdom during the playground’s official opening on Thursday morning.
The construction of the new playground was originally scheduled for March 6-8, but Greenfield Exempted Village School District Superintendent Quincey Gray told The Times-Gazette that the build finished Saturday night, almost exactly 38 hours after it began.
Approximately 100 volunteers, including community members and McClain FFA and Cadet Corps students, assisted with the build last Friday and Saturday. Local organizations also donated food, drinks and paper products for volunteers and crews during the build.
At this time, the new playground includes multiple slides, climbing equipment, spinning cups, swings, a teeter-totter, and an ADA accessible merry-go-round. There are also two ADA accessible swings.
Though the new Imagination Kingdom is now open to the public, there’s still work in its future. Gray said the school’s next steps will be to post a sign with rules and prepare for the green space, trees, and installation of the new paver stones, a basketball court, and a four square area. They will also install secured picnic tables in the shelter house. The remaining mulch will be applied as weather permits.
The new paver stones, new donor stone, and fencing will be installed during warmer weather.
The original paver stones and the original donor stone will remain.
Gray invited everyone who contributed to the project to attend the March 23 GEVSD board meeting for an appreciation ceremony, during which pictures taken during the build will be projected.
“We are so appreciative of the support we’ve received for this project,” Gray said. “It’s exciting to be able to provide a safe, fun area for our students and the community.”
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.”
Paver stones will be available for purchase until May 1. They are $60 each.
Those interested in purchasing a paver stone can find the form on the “Greenfield Elementary School” Facebook page or by searching “paver” on the school’s website, greenfield.k12.oh.us. Those with questions can reach the school at 937-981-2152.
Below are the playground’s rules:
* The playground is open to the community during the hours outside the school day.
* The playground closes at dusk.
*Equipment is designed for children ages 5 to 12. Use the equipment correctly and with caution.
*Do not use the equipment if it is wet.
Reach McKenzie Caldwell at 937-402-2570.