Plans have been made to rebuild the playground at Westpark School, in large part due to the grant they received from the Community Foundation of Portage and District.

Carol Lee, a member of the Parent Advisory Committee and co-chair of the Playground Committee, shares what they received and what is changing with the new build.

"We received $50,000 from the Community Foundation. It's going to be a multi-phase project. So, the first phase is what the $50,000 is going towards and we have a pretty dilapidated structure out there. It's gotten lots of love over the years, but it's really needing an update in there. So, before it becomes a major safety concern, we thought would give the students a fresh play structure."

Work on the playground project is set to be started this summer with the final project total coming in around $100,000. Lee notes this is the first part of a two-phase plan, which would also see them beautify the school grounds.

"The second phase, it encompasses the entire green space of the school, so we would hope to get an enclosed fence in there. Some more landscaping in there. There's also enhancing an outdoor learning environment and we'd like to have a school garden. And then the whole athletics field needs kind of revamping, the diamond and soccer field. For basketball, there's only one hoop out there, so to try to get to and expand the size of it, if we can."

Lydia Stoesz, the Principal of Westpark, shares the student's reaction to the project.

"There's a lot of excitement, a lot of the students are pretty excited. They've been looking at the pictures of the prospective play structure and they've been thinking about how they can use that and what they're going to do. And talking about what they like about it, better than the old one, even in terms of the design elements. They're talking about, 'I like that there's two different totally slides,' and not two slides that go down together and things like that. So, they're pretty excited. Teachers are really excited, as well, for what that means for the students."

Fundraising is underway for the second phase of the project, and to donate, reach out to the school by phone (204) 857-3726.