Plano ISD to install new playground at Aldridge Elementary as pilot for further school updates

Playground.
The new playground at Aldridge Elementary School will include a fabric shade and artificial turf. (Rendering courtesy Plano ISD)

The new playground at Aldridge Elementary School will include a fabric shade and artificial turf. (Rendering courtesy Plano ISD)

Image description
Plano ISD plans to replace the existing playground for the lower grades at Aldridge Elementary School. (Rendering courtesy Plano ISD)
Plano ISD intends to install a new shaded playground at Aldridge Elementary School as the first step in a plan to update student play areas at four elementary campuses.

The $213,000 cost of the new playground includes $95,500 for the structure and its installation, $49,500 for a fabric shade structure and its installation, $54,000 for artificial turf and $14,000 for concrete borders, according to a presentation to the PISD board of trustees Nov. 16. Chief Financial Officer Randy McDowell said funds from the district's 2016 bond will be used to pay for the new playground.

"We'd like to pilot the one at Aldridge [Elementary]—that's the one we've been looking pretty extensively at," McDowell said. "That equipment could be here as soon as early December, and we can have that lower grade-level playground installed ... no later than early February."

In addition to being shaded, McDowell said the new playground structure would be more accessible for students with disabilities; it could be used in different kinds of weather; and it would be available to be used by the community.

"[Allowing the community to use playgrounds] can also be a big benefit to a district that really needs to keep attracting young families," McDowell said.


In addition to Aldridge Elementary, McDowell said funds from the district's 2016 bond could also be used for playground replacements at Forman Elementary, Stinson Elementary and Wyatt Elementary schools.

"If we liked how that one turned out, we could go ahead and order the equipment and begin the process [for the] next [playgrounds]," McDowell said. "That would have to come back for approval by the board, but we would have a little better feel and [could] see exactly how it turned out. Then the other [playgrounds] could be completed in the summer of 2022."

Board President David Stolle said the new playgrounds sound like they would be a "win" for everyone involved.

"This is something that can improve our campuses, improve the experience of our students [and] it can improve [the district's] communities," he said.
By William C. Wadsack

Senior Reporter, Plano/Richardson

William joined Community Impact Newspaper in December 2019. He previously served as managing editor of several daily and weekly publications in North Texas and his native state of Louisiana.



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