Assembly of the new Benton Hall Academy playground equipment began Tuesday morning, after the equipment had arrived at the school on Monday.
Little Falls City School District Business Manager Clete McLaughlin said he expects the installation will be completed within three to four days. Once the installation of the playground equipment is finished, he said the district, with the assistance of the city’s Department of Public Works, will put the new wood chip safety surface in place in time for the opening of school on Wednesday, Sept. 5.
In April 2011, after a routine safety inspection, the wooden playground structure at Benton Hall was found to have serious safety issues. Consequently, in order to prevent the possibility of an injury, school district officials decided the prudent action to follow would be to take the playground down.
After the removal of the old playground, which was built in 1997, the district set out on a fundraising campaign as it did not have the necessary financial resources readily available to do the project otherwise. With the community’s support, the district was able to raise the necessary $125,000 to purchase the equipment, have it professional installed and complete the site work.
The new playground will incorporate multiple platforms of varying heights, five slides, eight distinctive climbing opportunities, nine interactive play panels, a separate free standing track glide and a two bay swing set with four seat swings. The posts supporting the new play structure will be made of fiberglass reinforced polymer, which McLaughlin said comes with a lifetime guarantee.