Richard Mann Elementary of Gananda Central School District and located in Walworth, New York, announced the grand opening of its new playground last week. The school playground was designed for children ages pre-K to 12 years old. Although cherished amongst the school and the community, their over-25 year old original playground needed upgrades to accommodate the high number of children in the school district.
The school engaged a committee of teachers, school district Principal and Superintendent, the school district architect, community members, students and MRC's New York State playground designer Linda Culliton to develop a plan that embodied the physical and social needs of the district and the community. Teachers and parents engaged students to identify their favorite elements, and visited local playgrounds to examine how children played to develop their wish list. With this basic framework Linda was able to design and render a playground concept that the school and its members fell in love with.
The new playground not only includes new and creative playground equipment, it has a unique playground safety surfacing called poured in place rubber (PIP), that is designed with patterns as well as the famous “Panther Paws” which embodies Richard Mann Elementary School's spirit and pride. Poured in place is a popular unitary surface choice and is one of the best surfaces for ADA accessibility. The rubber is available in a wide range of colors allowing customers to add an element of graphic fun to their playground by creating inlaid shapes and themed designs. Although PIP carries one of the highest initial investment costs, it is often offset by lower maintenance costs over the life of the product compared to surfacing solutions such as engineered wood fiber and rubber mulch.