Why is this a renovation and not a tear down/redo? We are considering this a renovation because the playgrounds have been assessed for safety and many of the pieces have been determined to last another decade (the time frame during which the new surface will last). As our kids can attest, our equipment is still usable and fun! We just want to ensure its safety, add some new elements and utilize the funding we have for resurfacing.

Why is this project not covered by our tax dollars? Per the district’s policy, your tax dollars fund, we are allowed to spend $12 per square foot on fall surface (wood chips or rubber) out of the Long-Term Facility Maintenance (LTFM) fund as a Physical Hazard expense. This is how we currently pay for the replacement of wood chips at A-L. In addition to the fall surface, schools are allowed to correct any unsafe playground components (broken or worn parts) from the same fund.  Examples of components eligible for replacement are worn chains / broken slides / cracked pipes / etc. New or remolded play structures do not qualify as a Physical Hazard expense. To keep our playgrounds fun for our kids at recess, and a community resource for the St. Croix Valley, it is necessary to contribute private funding. In addition to funds raised, through school events, the PTA is seeking business donations or sponsorship’s, private/public partnerships and grant funds. If you have other ideas to source funds, please contact Kari Kull-Heng at ptakullheng@gmail.com.

About the playground equipment company: After a safety assessment conducted in the Fall, the PTA embarked on a bidding process to update the playgrounds. Key factors in assessing bids included overall cost and cost efficiency, and safety. Through this process, the PTA selected Northland Recreation. The PTA is confident that Northland Recreation will complete the playground updates in accordance with our timeline and budget and who has knowledge of our playground renovation since they were the ones who completed our playground in the 1990’s.

About the SCVF: why did we choose to work with a foundation? While the AL PTA does have 501(c)(3) nonprofit status, a fundraising goal of this magnitude is outside our scope. Partnering with the SCVF will allow us access to the benefits of a nearly 25-year-old foundation with $60M in assets. With this partnership, the SCVF has committed to providing a host of services we would not have on our own, including:

  • Expertise in managing large donations, including all tracking and reporting activities required by the federal and state governments. We aim to ease donors’ minds through this partnership!
  • The ability to accept many forms of payment, including autopay (ACH deposits),  appreciated stock, online donations, credit card payments at our events and in-kind donations.
  • Consulting and access to their network of local contacts to ensure a smooth and successful fundraising campaign.
  • A template library of funding requests and donor communication.

Will this new playground be fully handicap accessible? The wood chips are considered accessible but are not very easy. The resurfacing would create an area where it would be truly be accessible to all.