Community helps build new Perry Elementary Center playground

Item photo by Shea Singley Perry Playground Community Build.
Item photo by Shea Singley Perry Playground Community Build.

“Over the coming years, we can all look with pride upon the playground and say ‘Yeah, I helped with that.’ Give yourself a pat on the back – we could not have done it without you,” said Perry PTO Playground Committee members.

Principals, PTO members, teachers and community members came together on Saturday, July 26, for the Perry Playground Community Build.

Volunteers arrived in shifts based on their team for that day and many were there early and left well after their team’s specific task was deemed finished. What used to be a flat, empty area beyond the fence at the new Perry Elementary Center construction site is now a dream turned reality.

“We can all be proud of what we have accomplished as a school community to make this playground happen,” said the Perry PTO Playground Committee members in an email to the volunteers. “First, we raised $61,117 to purchase the equipment. Second, the school district agreed to fund the poured rubber surface. Finally, we had a hand in the construction of a fabulous playground!”

The building process began early last week with the equipment being delivered Monday and some of the playground building taking place throughout the week. Saturday was the day that it all came together with numerous volunteers all helping out in any way that they could. The well-organized community build began at 8 a.m. on Saturday and, thanks to all the volunteers who helped keep everything ahead of schedule, finished around 1:30 p.m. that afternoon.

Volunteers signed in at the hospitality tent and were given a t-shirt from Texstyles Screenprinting as a souvenir. Once the volunteer had their name tag (color coordinated with their team) it was time to go to work. People of all skill levels worked together to construct the pieces of equipment that the children will soon be spending plenty of time on. Some even took one of the pieces of equipment for a quick spin just to test it out. Volunteers were kept hydrated with water and had lunch right on site.

Not only did the volunteers work hard to complete the build, but they did so with jokes and smiles on their faces.

“The Perry PTO Playground Committee would like to thank everyone who participated in today’s build,” the committee members said. “The build went extremely well. Because many of you stayed to help with the concrete, we were able to be finished by 1:30 p.m. Over the next two weeks, the stone will be distributed and leveled, and General Recreation will be coming back to pour the rubber surfacing. When the building opens, I think that the students of Perry will love their new playground!”

Perry PTO along with Tilden PTO has been busy fundraising the past year and more for the new playground. By having a community build, the PTO was able to save money and focus on the equipment and other needs. According to PTO members and others involved, the day was a great success and emphasized the partnership of the school and community.

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 ssingley@berksmontnews.com or follow Shea on Twitter: @hamburgitem.