St. C. playground nearing reality

ST. CLAIRSVILLE – The St. Clairsville Elementary School Community Playground Committee has recently completed the first phase of its project to rebuild the playground.

The group has raised more than $159,500 through grants, in-kind, monetary and material donations.

There remains less than $65, 000 to raise and the committee has high hopes of completing the project next summer. The second phase of the project will be the purchase and installation of a large playground equipment area that will be accessible to all children.

Helen Foster, member of the organization, said the plan has been ongoing since fall of 2010. She noted the conditions of the playground had been very poor, with cases of physical injuries and reports of splinters from the wooden equipment.

In addition, safety laws had changed and the 25-year-old playground had entrapment zones.

This past summer the group cleared out the unsafe structures and installed sites such as an outdoor classroom and soccer field, as well as handicap access.

The project is entirely funded by the community. Foster noted the importance of community involvement and volunteer efforts.

“Overall, the district is in a position of financial need,” she said, noting issues such as the need for a new roof at the elementary school.

The committee would like to thank and recognize the following businesses and organizations for their generosity:

Lowes, 84 Lumber, Sebulsky Steel, RECO Equipment, Bills Towing, Kirk Porterfield,

Trison Concrete, National Road Utility Supply, Belmont County Master Gardeners,

Greg Malik/ Jack’s Floral and Garden Center, St. C. Lumber, HDC Trucking, Ponzani Landscaping, Earnst Native and Wildflower Seed, Tim’s Custom Installation, Inc., Walmart, Belmont Equipment, Community Foundation of the Ohio Valley, Belmont County Board of Developmental Disabilities, State of Ohio Prison System, Hays Landscape Architecture Studio, Ltd., Green and Associates, Oakview, Girls Group Home, C-Cap, Operating Engineers Local 18, Local Carpenters #3, B&B Construction, Eastham Excavating, Clinton Eugene Cook Trucking, City of St. Clairsville, Premier Bank and Trust, Jeff Roscoe’s carving of Lorax, Citizens Bank, Make a Difference Day Association, STRATA, Foster Insurance, PNC Bank, St. Clairsville Noon Rotary Club, Abbey’s Restaurant, Beck Altmeyer Funeral Homes, Jason S. Newton, DPM, Rotary Band Fest Proceeds, St. Clairsville Home & School Association, McGhee Office Supply, West Texas Roadhouse, Outback Steakhouse, Sons of Legion, Fregiato, Myser & Davies, Friends of Lou Gentile, Rumer Loudin, Inc, Cumberland Trail Fire Department, and Thomas Chrysler Dodge Jeep.

Additionally the committee would like to thank those individuals and community members who have donated monetarily and volunteered their time on various workdays.

To learn more about our project visit the district’s web page, view our video on You Tube or contact Heather Foster at the elementary school or Gabe Hays of Hays Landscape Architecture Studio, Ltd. You may also make a tax-deductible donation to the St. Clairsville Home & School/SES-CPC, 120 Norris Street, St. Clairsville, Ohio 43950.

DeFrank can be reached at