Community set to help build the new Perry Elementary Center playground

Photo courtesy of Stephen F. Hemler CPSI, General Recreation Inc. Starting in the upper left corner of the drawing are the swings. Moving clockwise, at noon, is the Lunar Burst Climber. This is a fun rope climbing activity. Next is the main play structure. It is comprised of sliding boards, climbing panels, and various other activities. The Omnispin Spinner is the circular piece of equipment towards the lower right corner. This replaces the old style steel merry-go-round. A group of climbing panels located in the lower left corner will ensure opportunities for developing upper body strength. We conclude our virtual tour with an educational panel set located in the center.

At the end of July, the community will see a dream become an educational and recreational reality with the building of the new Perry Elementary Center playground.

As is common, the Perry PTO (in conjunction with the Tilden PTO) was responsible for raising the funds for the new playground. Funds were raised through various fundraising efforts over the last few years and community donations. In an effort to balance the playground budget, a cost saving method was chosen for the construction process. Rather than pay more for others to construct the playground it will be built using volunteers in the community in what is called a community build.

Currently the build is scheduled to start Monday, July 21, and continue through the week with the final day set for Saturday, July 26. During that time, volunteers will provide the labor, installation materials, tools and equipment to put the playground together. The building process will include guidance from a certified playground inspector.

“Volunteers and leaders are needed for various teams such as cleanup, staking out footers, assembling the equipment in the drawing and mixing concrete,” said Andrew Raugh, Hamburg Area School District school director.


The Perry PTO is looking for an excess of 50 volunteers who will serve on the several teams needed to complete the project. Each team will have a leader who has some construction experiences. Leaders can recruit their own teams and individuals will placed together to create teams.

Not only are volunteers needed, but so are certain materials.

“We need tools and equipment,” said Raugh. “We need a front end loader and operator to unload equipment. We need hand tools, shovels, digging bars and wheelbarrows. We also need a vibrating plate. Lastly, we need installation materials. We need approximately 146 tons of 2B stone. We also need approximately 267 bags of concrete.”

Currently the build schedule is as follows: July 21 is unloading the equipment and some footer layout tasks performed by one team, throughout the week is digging and leveling of footings which will be completed, July 25 will include some pre-assembly, and the majority of the build will occur on Saturday, July 26.

“When you volunteer, you will have the opportunity to turn children’s dreams into actual smiles,” said Raugh.

For those interested in offering assistance and volunteering, please notify Dr. Shawn Gravish at or Cheryl Bucheit at

See the photo and caption for a virtual tour of the playground.

Andrew Raugh also contributed to this article.

About the Author

Shea Singley

Shea Singley is the editor of The Hamburg Area Item. She grew up in Berks County and spent three years at the University of Arizona, Tucson, where she double majored in Creative Writing and English before transferring to Kutztown University where she majored in Professional Writing. Shea graduated from Kutztown University in 2012 and during that time completed an internship in the publication department of a non-profit organization in Washington, DC. She joined Berks-Mont Newspapers in March of 2013 and had enjoyed getting the chance to explore the Hamburg area and meet the readers. Reach the author at or follow Shea on Twitter: @hamburgitem.