New Playground

New playground opens for students at Middle School
Posted on 12/14/2021
Middle School students get to test out the new playground space for the first time during recess last month.

The Poplar Bluff Middle School has opened up its new playground to provide students with more recreational options, about a year after installing a pavilion.

To the west of the school on what was formerly Strenfel Stadium, the playfield includes a jungle gym with slides, a swing set, volleyball nets, a set of soccer goals, and a backstop for games such as kickball.

Future enhancements may include another set of soccer goals and several benches along the walking track that was established prior to Dr. Josh Teeter picking up the project when he assumed the role of principal last school year.

“The kids love it,” Teeter reported enthusiastically. Adding an alternative green space to the enclosed playground constructed on concrete behind the school was needed, he believes, since: “We accommodate such a wide age range of interests, [serving students] from fourth to sixth grade.”

Middle schoolers are dismissed for recess from the lunchroom, explained Teeter, and from there they are split into groups by chaperone depending on whether students want to play basketball or have more room to run on the front addition.

The project has been a collaborative effort both internally and through community partnerships, according to school officials. Fundraising under the PTO, on top of a generous donation from the PBHS Class of 1972, helped finance the pavilion, while much of the playground equipment has come directly out of the Middle School’s budget.

Meanwhile the R-I Maintenance Department performed most of the site preparation and installation work in-kind, with plans to add an ADA compliant swing out of their own budget as a passion project of Maintenance Supervisor Colt Sievers’ in order to connect a concrete ramp that his crew also helped pour.

“I don’t think I’d be wrong by saying the largest portion of the work on the playground has been accomplished by members of the maintenance staff,” noted Sievers, adding that he is extremely proud of his team as the calendar year comes to a close. “This, like most projects, can be accomplished much more economically if my maintainers can shoulder the workload.”

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Cutline: Middle School students get to test out the new playground space for the first time at recess during the first week of November.

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