Ribbon cutting held for playground

by Todd Brooks

The excitement, playing, laughing, happy screams and just general loudness lets visitors know the new playground at Comanche Elementary School is a hit with students.

And for good reason. The new equipment has a wide variety of options for the students from tradition swings and slides to modern rock climbing and other things.

The project was part of the bond issue passed last February by voters. Work began on the playground in October and was completed earlier this year as some work was delayed due to weather conditions.

Superintendent Julie Bills said the project cost approximately $140,000 total from equipment to wood chips and other amenities.

Part of the old playground equipment was moved to another part of campus, while other parts of it were donated to a local day care.

“AAA Playgrounds is who won the bid and we gave them lots of things that we needed and they came in with that,” said Robin Troutman, Comanche Elementary School principal. “They’ve been a great group to work with. Anytime we asked them to come in when we find some things here and there, they’ve been wonderful about meeting our needs.”

Of course the thumbs up from the students is the most important thing.

“Our kids love this new playground and our teachers do, too,” Troutman said. “The cover itself is one of the most beneficial components of this new playground because of the heat in the summer. School starts in August and lets out in May and there are days that it’s too hot to be out on the equipment, so it will be beneficial here in Southwest Oklahoma where the weather is so extreme.”

Students have even been able to go out on misty days to the playground because of the protection the cover provides to keep the equipment dry.

“We’ve already started seeing some positive things with that,” Troutman said. “The reconfiguration of spreading out the playground equipment means we have a safer playground. We now have a musical component that we’re looking at expanding.”

The school is appreciative of the community for voting on the bond.

“We are so thankful for the community of Comanche for supporting this bond,” Troutman said.

The new equipment includes ADA compliance for disabled students.

“We have black roll up areas,” Troutman said. “They do have ground access and we have a disability swing. We have a lot of ground level activities that they can crawl into and play if they’re that mobile. And, if they’re not, we do have other things.”