New Steward School Playground

With a huge fund raising effort that exceeded all expectations for how fast it could get done, we have a new playground built, being used, and enjoyed by everyone. Steward Elementary School in Topsfield, MA had a number of outdated play structures and dilapidated swings that were in need of replacement. One thing led to another and the Topsfield Playground Committee was green-lighted to use a decommissioned ball-field behind the school for our new build, while we demolished the old structures and planted grass on the old site. I was contacted to help coordinate design ideas and the site plan at the end of 2011, thinking it’d be a 1-3 year fund raising horizon.

Was I ever wrong.

By May we were nearing our $120k fund raising goal – and (2) designs underway; one from a previous vendor (Landscape Structures / O’Brien & Sons of Medford, MA) and one from a new vendor – Site Specifics / Miracle Recreation Equipment of Monett, MO. Working with Cindy Maak of Site Specifics we came up with an incredible design that would offer play for up to 175 kids and come in at a remarkable cost, so after much discussion we chose the Miracle system design Ms. Maak had come up with and set the gears turning to get it built.

It went from site planning, to layout, to a giant truck arriving with all the equipment pretty quickly. With a huge effort by a number of key volunteers, donors, and local businesses – we got it built over a few days with the help of Site Specifics crack contracting crew JT Construction guiding an army of helpers. By Tuesday afternoon (5 days after starting) we were putting the finishing touches on and getting ready to open.

Check out the Tri-Town Transcript article and the TPC website for a list of the key players, whom I can’t thank enough. On opening day the kids took to every feature and finally got to explore it in detail – after seeing it going up for an (unbearable!) couple of days.

I owe a special thanks to my ever-patient clients while this was all happening – and am happy to report two of the three projects are stamped and permitted and underway. With the final engineering on the third project almost complete – look for a flurry of site updates here. In the meantime – please bring your kids / grand kids / nieces / nephews to this new playground and let us know how it works for you.