Horace Mann Elementary to receive new playground, accessible to all students

Local News

WARREN, Ind. (WANE) – Huntington County Community School Corporation announced that Horace Mann Elementary School will be receiving a new playground set this summer after plans for the project were approved at Monday night’s Board of School Trustees meeting.

The new playground, which will be installed this summer and will be ready for use by the beginning of the 2021–22 school year, will be able to be used by all Horace Mann students, something the current playground set cannot offer according to Horace Mann Essential Skills teacher Macy Phillips.

“The playground we have right now, one of the bigeest things is it’s not wheelchair accessible,” Phillips said. “With our essential skills program, we have many kids that do use adaptive equipment, whether it’s a wheelchair, a walker, a stander, and then we have many other kids that have physical disabilities. And so, the lack of ramps and the major step-off and drop-offs that we have, the concrete not being even, the mulch, we have major holes out there, and that causes some major problems for them because we have many kids that fall or they’re not able to use the playground independently. So that’s one of the biggest things with the playground, is that we learn through play, and so if someone has to be with them every step of the way and they’re not able to be independent, then they’re really not learning to do things for themselves.”

Photo courtesy of the Huntington County Community School Corporation

Features of the new playground include ramps, canopies and a poured-in-place rubber floor. The school said the flooring costs nearly the same amount as the actual playground equipment, but that investment was essential to best meet the accessibility and safety needs for the facility.

Business Manager Scott Bumgardner shared that Bendix Corporation will vote to approve a $50,000 donation to the new playground project and funding from Medicaid would cover the rest of the project cost.

The district said the total budget for the project, quoted at $156,897, was approved unanimously by the board.

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