Exciting day at Gatewood Elementary even before classes started for this morning – the whole school gathered for a ceremony to break ground on the first phase the school’s playfield-improvement project. Gatewood principal Kyna Hogg led students and staff in the “roller-coaster cheer”:
This is a community-led project that’s long been in the works, as we’ve previously reported. The project co-chair, parent Linnea Westerlind, shared some updates:
– We have raised $52,212 as a community since the fall, which is added to the $100,000 matching grant we received from the Seattle Department of Neighborhoods. Other major contributors include the Gatewood Elementary PTA, Seattle Public Schools and Nucor Steel Seattle. More than 100 students, parents, grandparents, neighbors and community members donated to support the project.
– We are breaking ground this week on the major work for the project, which will include the new irrigated grass field, running/walking track and nature-inspired areas with swales and mounds.
– Construction costs are about 20% higher than we anticipated, so we are still raising money this spring and next year to complete the entire project, which we hope will include trees, shrubs, boulders and logs, as well as a “Gator” play sculpture.
You can donate online – and see the playfield plan! – at gatewoodplayfield.org, or drop off cash/check donations at the school office (4320 SW Myrtle).
WHAT HAPPENS NEXT: Accord Contractors, the lowest bidder, will start work as soon as the permit is granted – “any day now,” Westerlind says. Work is expected to last about six weeks, during which time the playfield will be fenced off; the rest of the playground will remain open, including the two play structures.
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