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Playground Plan For Leighton Elementary Takes Big Step Forward

The drawing of plans for a new Leighton Elementary School playground.
The drawing of plans for a new Leighton Elementary School playground.

Oswego’s Board of Education gave its blessing Tuesday night to a committee’s plans to replace the deteriorated playground at Leighton Elementary School.

A group of residents, led by Judi Kenefic, has been working behind the scenes for several years to put a new playground in place. Tuesday, the group made its plans public.

The wooden playground built in 1991 is falling apart, Kenefic said. “There’s very few pieces left and what’s there is not safe. Neighbors won’t go there anymore because it’s in disrepair and dirty.”

Kenny Schroy of American Recreational Products and, at right, Judi Kenefic show plans for a new playground at Leighton Elementary School to members of the Board of Education.
Kenny Schroy of American Recreational Products and, at right, Judi Kenefic show plans for a new playground at Leighton Elementary School to members of the Board of Education.

Wooden playground fall apart, become homes for swarms of bees and put slivers into kids’ hands, said Kenny Schroy of American Recreational Products, the company that has designed the playground on behalf of the committee.

This playground, he said, will use safer materials and have a surface similar to a turf athletic field. He called it a “universal playground” because it will be fully and easily accessible by children with disabilities, including those in wheelchairs.

“It allows handicapped children to play right alongside other children,” he said.

Kenefic’s group gave Schroy a goal of spending $250,000 on the playground, which her group would raise.

Board of Education President Sam Tripp said the district could save the group some money by demolishing the old playground itself.

Once built, the playground would be turned over to the school district, just as the old playground was.

Kenefic asked the board to approve letting the committee go forward with the playground project, so it can begin fundraising and grant writing. “We’re ready to go,” she said.

The board approved the idea unanimously.