Questions raised about Butler Elementary playground equipment


BELLVILLE – Plans for the Clear Fork Valley School Board to sell old playground equipment for use at Hitchman Park, for a minimum of $1, was questioned at a recent school board meeting.

New playground areas have been built at the new Butler and Bellville elementary buildings.

The old equipment from Butler was designated to go to Worthington Township, for use at Butler park.

Board member Carl Gonzalez asked whether the new equipment had enough swings, or a glider, for use by kids in wheelchairs.

Libby Nickoli, principal at Butler, said there is one student who uses a wheelchair, and a special aid is employed to assist that child in getting into a swing.

Gonzalez said he had heard that space at the new playgrounds was limited. He said he knows the new equipment is ADA compliant (American with Disabilities Act), but he said he doesn’t feel it as the same as the old equipment.

Kevin Carr, facilities/maintenance director, said that type of equipment costs $11,000 to $15,000. And there are costs for installation.

Superintendent Janice Wyckoff said it would require removing wood chips, tearing out cement, then replacing it, and fixing drainage to make a change. She said the cost would be $100 a square foot. This would bring the project to a total of $25,000 to $30,000, she said.

Nickoli said concerns about space at the Butler playground have been taken care of, because kids go out in alternating schedules.

The board approved the motion to sell the equipment, with Gonzalez casting the only no vote.

Board members Frank McCue, Dan Freund, Lori McKee and board president Amy Weekley voted yes.

Gonzalez also asked about possible tennis courts. The Boosters Club and Tennis Parents Committee is looking into this project.

Gonzales said he wanted to know where the courts could be located. Wyckoff said the project is in the hands of the Boosters Club committee.

Principals at all schools gave reports.

There will be a family literacy night in Butler on Nov. 5, and a veterans’ celebration in Bellville on Nov. 14.

Advisers for the school’s Spanish Club asked the board about a possible trip to Spain. Lauren Motter and Amber Weaver said such a trip would be good for kids because they would get a broader view of the world.

No action was taken on this request.

The school board has scheduled a work session before the next meeting Nov. 21. The work session will be at 6 p.m., before the regular meeting starts at 6:30 p.m., in the media room at the high school.

By Louise Swartzwalder

Galion Inquirer

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