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Work begins on playground

Construction will start today on a $125,970 playground for the pupils of W.H. Stevenson Elementary School on Ransomville Road.

The project is being paid for with $70,000 in grant money and as-yet-untabulated private donations and proceeds from fund-raisers. It also will be underwritten by the Wilson School District's capital fund, according to district Business Manager Joseph Tette.

Principal Michael Cancilla said Parkitects Inc., of Buffalo, will set up the new 50-by-100-foot facility, which will be divided into areas appropriate for prekindergarten through second-graders and third- through fifth-grade pupils. The contract was awarded to Landscape Structures, of which Parkitects is an affiliate. The company is scheduled to complete the work by next Monday.

School officials and the Stevenson Elementary School PTA plan to celebrate the new playground from 6 to 7:30 p.m. Sept. 21 with a grand opening/school picnic.

The primary section will feature six new swings, a four-seat seesaw, spring riders, a balance beam and two structures that contain different slides and are connected with a large horizonal tube children can crawl through. One structure will have two traditional slides that sit side by side. The other will have a spiral slide that twists around as it heads to the ground.

The intermediate equipment includes eight swings, a rock-climbing area and a circular horizontal ladder. It features an an S-shaped slide, and sections are connected by a "clatter-bridge" that swings a bit when you walk across it," Cancilla said.

The playground also features a "talking tube" that spans the intermediate playground area. Children can talk back and forth to each other through the tube even though they are 30 feet apart.

Playground Committee Chairwoman Pamela Russell, a parent, and her five-member committee helped cut down district costs by contacting State Sen. George Maziarz, R-Newfane, and Chemical Waste Management for help. Maziarz obtained a $50,00 grant to help pay the bill, and CWM provided a donation of more than $20,000, Cancilla said.

e-mail: pwestmoore@buffnews.com

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