WASHINGTON - Blennerhassett Elementary School officials got a $10,000 grant Wednesday for the continued work on the playground.
State Sen. Donna Boley, R-Pleasants, was part of a short school assembly Wednesday morning to present officials a certificate indicating the project had received $10,000 from the state.
PTA member Betty Smith said Boley works hard for anything related to education.
Photo by Jody Murphy
Patrick Arnold plays on the new equipment, part of the school’s physical activity enhancements.
"This is your parents' tax money coming back to your school," Boley told the students.
The $94,000 project has about two-thirds of the funding needed for completion.
"It was not workable to do all at once," said Craig Arnold, chairman of the Blennerhassett Elementary School PTA committee. "We broke it into phases; more manageable pieces."
PTA officials successfully raised $39,000 to complete phase I of the project earlier this year. The kids were greeted with new equipment on the first day of school.
Arnold said the $39,000 raised provided just the equipment and perimeter. It was built through volunteer labor and equipment.
This is the second year of fundraising efforts - including the grant - by the PTA. Phase II is on pace to achieve the targeted $30,000 mark. It will involve surfacing the running and walking track and adding enhancements.
Smith wants to add swings and improve the basketball court. Officials will seek to raise $25,000 for supplemental playground equipment (phase III), to refurbish the basketball court and the open play area.
Arnold said money raised for the playground project is outside of the PTA's annual funds.
Wood County Schools Superintendent Pat Law said the county - and the school - has one of the strongest PTAs in the state. Arnold said the BES PTA has more than 140 members. Blennerhassett Principal Keith Palmer called it a team effort.
Official said the new equipment is well-used by students and the community. Palmer said the school exceeds exercise standards on a weekly basis.
He said officials visited every school in the county to review playground facilities with an eye on setting the standard.
"Now, we want them to come visit us," Palmer said.