Schwartz Elementary receives first playground equipment
By Jeff Harrison
Midwest City Beacon
Recess at Schwartz Elementary School became a lot more exciting.
The school recently received new playground equipment. It was installed last month and ready for students to enjoy after Thanksgiving break.
Students had been without a playground for about two years due to construction of the new classroom addition. The school was able to reuse some of its old playground equipment, but many pieces were outdated and damaged.
“We were able to use some of the old pieces. But this new stuff is amazing,” said principal Rondall Jones.
The new playground has been so popular that Jones had to split up recess times to prevent overcrowding.
“All of them want to be on it at once so we have to split it up in 15-minute intervals,” he said. “And after the newness wears off it’ll be different.”
The playground equipment includes a large slide called the “Mighty Dissent” which is the first of its kind in the state. The playground also has several climbing elements, musical equipment, a modified merry-go-round, and others. It is designed for upper grades but all children have enjoyed it.
“PreK was the first group out there and some of those little ones climbed it like it was no big deal,” Jones said.
The new playground equipment was purchased as part of Mid-Del School’s most recent bond issue. The $8.84 million bond issue was approved by voters on June 30, 2020. It included funding for playground equipment, uniforms for band and orchestra, fine arts equipment, classroom and restroom remodels, and new roofing at the Mid-Del Technology Center.
The district is adding the new playground over the next three years. The work is being done in groups of three with one in the Midwest City, Carl Albert and Del City regions.
Schwartz was the first school to receive the new playground equipment.
New equipment is being added at Townsend Elementary and Country Estates by the end of the year. Barnes, Epperly Heights and Ridgecrest are expected to receive new playground equipment early next year.
The district is also making progress on the music and fine arts items, said Andy Collier, director of student activities. Collier said they have purchased a new concert piano and new marching band and orchestra uniforms for each of the high schools.
High schools will receive $50,000 every other year that is designated for fine arts. Middle schools will receive $25,000 every other year for fine arts. Those will continue through the life of Bond 36.
Work on the classrooms, hallways and bathrooms is expected to pick up in early 2022.
“The major push has been with the playgrounds, but we anticipate the remodeling projects will happen after the first of the year. And that will be an ongoing thing,” said Mike Bryan, executive director of operations. “We’ll start by addressing the greatest needs.”