PITTSFIELD -- Allendale Elementary School’s new playground is open for play.
On Friday at 5:30 p.m., the school will host a ribbon-cutting to herald the new equipment and play areas.
"This has been a long haul. [The project] has been a work in progress even before I came to the school about five years ago," said Allendale Principal Carl Ameen.
In 2010, a more concerted effort was launched to refurbish the playground. A group of concerned parents met with Ameen and Jim McGrath, the city’s open space and parks manager, and began discussing the need to renovate the school’s playground equipment and play areas, which were installed and hadn’t been upgraded since 1989.
Ultimately a playground project committee was formed.
Through pancake breakfasts, spaghetti dinners, benefit dances and various grants, the group was able to raise the approximately $50,000 it took to give the playground a makeover.
The committee said it tried to use fundraised money versus Parent-Teacher Organ ization funds to pay for the project so as not to take away from any existing programs sponsored by the PTO.
A group called Probuilt Construction of Marshfield installed the project through an $18,000 bid awarded by the city.
Pittsfield also provided some additional labor in preparing the fields for the playground, from excavating to spreading woodchips. There are now two new areas with structures designed to accommodate all ages.
The school’s playground is considered a municipal park, serving both the school (about 300 children) and the community.