School to install playground - Catholic Courier

School to install playground

Children in Waterloo will soon have a new place to play and enjoy the outdoors: St. Mary’s School recently broke ground for a new playground, which will be open to all local children.

The playground will be built to fill a local need, according to Sara Ashby, the school’s public relations coordinator.

“There is no play area whatsoever in this area of town,” she said. “For the children to play they have to cross two main roads.”

The school is in the process of raising funds for the playground, Ashby said, noting that more than $13,000 had been raised as of press time May 7. One of the earliest donations to the project came from Seneca Meadows Landfill, which contributed $5,000.

More than $1,000 was raised during a Feb. 8 family fun day at the school, called “Get to Know St. Mary’s School.” McGruff the Crime Dog, the Waterloo Police Department, the Seneca County Sheriff’s Department and a massage therapist were on hand during the event, as well as a Red Cross dog and a disaster dog. Free car-booster seats and first-aid kits were available for a limited time, and families could partake in a bake sale, face painting and sledding on the hill next to the school.

The school has so far collected enough money to purchase from Rochester’s R.E. Woodson Inc. two small sets of swings and a playground set, which includes two small slides, climbing frames and play areas. If the school can raise another $5,000, Ashby said, it would be able to purchase Bernie the Bus, a small, yellow bus on springs that the children can climb on and play in.

The official groundbreaking for the new playground took place on April 28. Joe Dendis, a 1979 graduate of the school, donated the services of his company, Dendis Sand & Gravel Inc., for the groundbreaking. Although Dendis graduated 25 years ago, his family is still involved with St. Mary’s: His son, Anthony, graduated from the school last year, and his son, Mike, is a seventh-grader there.

Using skidloaders, the company leveled an approximately 30-by-90-foot area in four to five hours, Dendis said.

“We leveled it out and now we need to put the playground in. After they put the playground in, we’ll put sand or wood chips down,” he said.
“They’ve leveled the entire area. That went really well,” Ashby said.

Ashby said there was once a playground located on the same site, but it was taken out a number of years ago because it was old. Since that time, the site has been unoccupied, she added.

Once the playground is installed, sand, wood chips, mulch or another appropriate substance will be laid down around it, and the school is looking for companies willing to donate any of those materials.

Ashby said the school hopes to have the playground installed by July so local children can use it over the summer. By the very latest, it will be installed by the time students come back to school in September, she added.

EDITOR’S NOTE: St. Mary’s School is still accepting donations for its new playground. For information on making a donation, call the school at 315/539-3772.

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