St. Charles Herald-Guide

12 new school playgrounds to help parish kids keep fit

Shonna Riggs - March 14, 2007

Plans are under way to upgrade playgrounds for students at 12 St. Charles Parish public schools this year.

That means pre-kindergarteners, kindergartners and students in first through fifth grade should have a new play area when school starts in August.

Ken Zito, of Sizeler, Thompson and Brown Architects, which specializes in designing recreational and fitness facilities, said: "Our goal is to improve physical education for all children in the elementary schools throughout the parish.

"With the new equipment children will have an opportunity to build strength and coordination.

"We expect to have a decision on what playground design proposal we will be using by the end of March.

"And we will begin assembling the equipment right away - the work should be complete within a few weeks."

DYNA-PLAY, a company that creates playgrounds for children, including kids with physical limitations, put their bid in to do the work.

Eve Werner, the company’s designer, says the playground’s landscape structure will incorporate fitness for all children

"The pre-kindergartener structure is designed for 2 - 4 year olds and will be set at the appropriate heights to accomodate the reach ranges of special needs children in wheelchairs," Werner said.

Werner's blueprint includes two areas functionally linked together by a curved balance beam, usable for all ages.

On each side of the balance beam are overhead ladders, parallel bars, chin up bars, push up/sit up benches, and a stationary cycler, which mimics riding a bicycle,” she continued.

"The play area on each side of the balance beam is set at various heights to be age appropriate for the users."

“The area will be bound by a 12 inch high plastic timber border, which includes an ADA ramp access for kids in wheel chairs,” Werner said.

Artist’s conception of new playground - exquisite in its simplicity.
Artist’s conception of new playground - exquisite in its simplicity.