Imagination Needed

There is plenty of space to play outside Eisenhower Elementary School.

But there are no swings, no slides, and no balance beams.

There is a fenced-in area where officials expect playground equipment to eventually go, but “We don’t have anything installed,” Principal Marcia Madigan said.

For now, students may have to use their imaginations a little more at play.

That, according to Madigan, is not a bad thing.

“We have new sidewalks and chalk, jump ropes, balls you can bounce,” she said. “We can use the track, the grassy area past the goal posts.”

“We do a lot of things outside,” she said. “We need to think outside the box.”

There is a slope suitable to sled riding in the appropriate season. Students will be able to walk to the ecolab once permission slips are in hand.

Madigan said officials are prepared to go as long as necessary without equipment.

Neither Eisenhower personnel nor Warren County School District administration is in charge of the playground equipment.

“All of our playgrounds are funded and built by the PTOs,” Director of Buildings and Grounds Services Dr. Norbert Kennerknecht said.

Eisenhower Elementary doesn’t have its own parent teacher organization yet. The PTOs from the former Russell and Sugar Grove elementary schools have combined and that group is working on the playground issue.

“We want to make sure we do it right,” Madigan said.

The group has talked about moving equipment from Russell and Sugar Grove. There are at least two complications to that possibility.

Once equipment is installed, it becomes the property of the school district. So, the PTO would have to have approval from the school board to move equipment. There will still be students using Russell and the Sugar Grove community is working to maintain access to the ball fields and playground equipment there.

Legally, playground equipment must be generally kept together.

If authorized by the school district, the PTO could opt to move one or some whole units from the existing playgrounds, but moving some piece of a larger whole would violate requirements that units stay in tact.

The combined PTO has met with two playground equipment companies, according to Madigan. Their quoted prices are very similar.

Once funding is in place and a decision is made, the equipment will be on its way.

“Once we make a decision, we should have it within five weeks,” Madigan said.