C.T. Plunkett playground fund nears its goal


ADAMS -- The fundraising effort for a new and improved playground at C.T. Plunkett Elementary School is nearing its goal, but time is running out if it's to be built in full before the coming school year.

Organizers of the fundraising campaign have enlisted a company to design and build the playground, but they still need $20,000 in order to achieve the full scope of the project. If the money doesn't come, some planned pieces of the playground might have to be cut out, according to Erin Mucci, a member of the playground committee.

The school's former community-built playground Wacky World -- built more than 20 years ago -- was razed in December 2013 after being cited as a safety concern. School officials and parents began an effort to raise $75,000 in November 2013.

"We're kind of at a critical point, we're trying to decide what to do," said Mucci, who is also chairman of the Parent Teacher Group. "Something is going to go in this summer."

Mucci said the committee has been making phone calls, sending out emails, and holding events to push for the final $20,000 in funding, which would ensure the full scope of the plans are included in the final building. So far, more than $55,000 has been raised for the new playground.

"We were trying to determine if we could do all of the site work and have it be a partial playground until next year. ... it's really not economical to have [the developer] come back."

The playground committee -- which consists of parents, school officials and teachers -- hopes to have a community build of the playground before school begins in the fall. The committee will need 20 to 30 volunteers to assist the builder, who will provide the materials and tools.

Cindy Maak, owner of Rochester-based company Site Specifics, was brought on by the committee to handle the design and creation of the playground. Maak, who represents Miracle Recreation playground equipment, has worked on other parks and playgrounds in the Berkshires and won the bid to create Plunkett's playground last month.

"These community builds are a lot of fun, but they're a lot of work," Maak said. "It's always a give and take. I come up with an idea and then I listen to their feedback. There's so many different pieces you can put into a playground."

The design of the playground will be focused on physical activity, according to Mucci.

"It's going to be like the next generation-type playground with more of a fitness look to it. It's going to be a lot of things to climb on and not as many platforms to just stand on," Mucci said.

The school's two physical education teachers have worked closely with the designer to ensure every piece of equipment -- slides, swings and more -- has a physical purpose.

The layout of the playground will also be safer, Mucci said, an improvement over the former Wacky World.

"It's very spread out and open, so it won't have all of those hiding places like Wacky World did," Mucci said. "You're going to be able to have sight lines through the entire playground."

Donations can be made at Adams Community Bank or at the PTG website, ctplunkettptg.org.

To reach Adam Shanks:ashanks@berkshireeagle.com
or (413) 663-3741, ext. 225.
On Twitter: @EagleAdamShanks


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