East Elementary could get new equipment

The blueprints are drawn. Now all that's needed is some funding.

And it's a good possibility it will happen this year.

Tuesday, the Moffat County School District Board of Education discussed the preliminary budget. The fiscal plan includes $10,000 requested by East Elementary for additional playground equipment.

The school and its Parent Advisory Committee (PAC) requested the $10,000 in capital outlay monies. The funds will pay for a new climbing structure.

East's PAC raised around $6,000 this year for new playground equipment. Total cost for the project will be around $40,000.

"We are willing to do whatever we need to," East Principal Guy Gladden said. "We expect things to go well. If not, the PAC will look for support from the community. The PAC made new playground equipment their priority."

All schools in the district submit a prioritized spending list for the budget. Playground equipment is a number one priority at East, but this is not saying the school is only worried about equipment.

"We would never cut any core academic program," Gladden said. "Literacy is still a priority."

In past years, East has been dismantling its playground to conform to safety standards. The $16,000 sought for playground equipment will purchase one large structure that will take the place of missing playground equipment, PAC Chairperson Andrea Camp said.

"Things that were considered unsafe were taken away there was not a lot left," Camp said. "The new equipment is something we need. It will be an asset to the school."

It also would be handicap accessible.

The top of the current climbing structure toppled over two weeks ago.

"Some things have met their maker," Gladden said. He hopes the budget will come out in East's favor.

"At the very minimum, we will buy a smaller structure," Gladden said. "We are hoping to fulfill the number one priorities, including ours. But this is tentative and not finalized it is up to the school board."

Some budget items were pushed aside to make room for items dealing with safety, physical plant and maintenance. Moffat County School District Superintendent Duane Wrightson said an emphasis toward more technology in the schools will absorb a large portion of the capital outlays.

East officials hope the new playground equipment will be ready for use by next fall.

All pieces of the proposed playground equipment will be interlocking. Replacement of the equipment could be a three-year project. East officials hope the district will match the funds they raise.

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