Ascension's new playground takes shape

Volunteers help put together play space for pre-schoolers


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By Terry Dean

Staff reporter

A school playground has never been more welcome than at Oak Park's Ascension School.

On Saturday, July 20, volunteers were out at Ascension, 601 Van Buren St., to put together the new playground for preschoolers. The would-be craftsmen, and women, worked from the early morning till around noon.

The playground is one piece to a larger vision for that grassy section near Ascension where the rectory once stood, says Principal Mary Jo Burns. The playground is built in a corner of the large green space. More outdoor recreational space is slated for the area, Burns said, including play space for the older students. But years of playing on asphalt just wasn't cutting it anymore for the little kids, Burns said.

About two-dozen volunteers helped assemble the preschool playground. It cost about $40,000, including the price of a rubberized surface installed for students' safety. The money comes from Ascension's capital budget and from the kind donation of an unnamed family. The playground is expected to be completed by Aug. 20 when school starts.

"Play is an important part of their school, as important as academics," Burns said. "This is really the starting point for our, what we call our Safe Play Plans. We'd like to do something for our older kids, and would like to do it in that open space."

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Done from Oak Park  

Posted: July 23rd, 2013 11:57 AM

The reason D97's transformations cost what they do is because they are being built with money from the bottomless trough called "taxpayer funds". I'm sorry - I forgot the grants that cover a portion of the cost.

Looking for clarity  

Posted: July 23rd, 2013 11:52 AM

To OP Taxpayer, etc: Can you provide and English translation of your point, please? As best as I can tell, you're attempting to take a jab at D97, using Ascension as your comparison. Whatever your point, I would hope you could say it is based upon knowing all the facts regarding the respective school yard construction, and that you're not just trying to stir the pot based on a price tag. Right?

OP Taxpayer/Ascension Worshipper from Oak Park, Illinois  

Posted: July 23rd, 2013 10:28 AM

Ah, lovely. D97 playgrounds used to be assemble thus! Now, the surface is $170k, the equipment $230k (unless you go to Irving...$1.3MM), community involvement? yep, right the check; volunteerism? uh uh, it's mandatory...for the children.

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