Board approves Tipton R-VI playground proposal
by Becky Holloway
The Tipton R-VI School District will have a new playground surface at the elementary school sometime this fall following action by the school board Monday night, June 11.
The board approved a proposal to renovate the playground, making it not only more usable but also safer. A municipal adviser was also chosen to put together a lease-purchase package for about one half the financing of the project. The remainder will be paid out of the district’s capital projects fund.
Ideal Landscape and Design will do the renovation work which includes fixing drainage issues, installing 7,280 square feet of artificial turf with a 15’ x 12’ Cardinal head at the center of the largest field, 5,575 square feet of rubberized tile, and grading and landscaping. The new playground will be compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act and will meet current safety standards.
The cost of the renovation was bid at $289,537.
An additional project will also be done under the contract with Ideal ? installing a concrete runway at the high school track with two pits for $19,000. It will be utilized by long jump and triple jump athletes.
“I’m very pleased with the responsive and thoughtful work of our board of education to keep our kids safe and engaged at school,” said Dr. Terry Robinson, superintendent. “New playground surfacing alleviates liability and safety issues and we have had some concern about injuries on our current playground. Our playground is continuously used by roughly 300 students and it is also used after school by the community.”
Robinson said poor drainage issues have made nearly half the playground unusable on a regular basis. “Simply put: We have had a mud hole. All companies responding to our request for proposal agreed that the high use of our playground made artificial surfaces such as rubber and turf ideal.”
The turf field is an excellent option for drainage and how space will be used, according to Robinson, and it is expected to last 10-15 years.
“The rubberized tile provides a safer landing for kids using playground equipment,” he said.
It is hoped the revitalized space can be opened early in the 2018-19 school year.
“Ideal Landscape and Design has completed major projects in the Metro St. Louis area, St. Louis County, Kirkwood, St. Charles and other areas of Missouri,” Robinson said. “We are fortunate to have this experienced company on board with us and we are looking forward to seeing great results.”
Board president Clint Miller said, “After several board meetings and many hours of healthy debate and negotiations, our district is excited to provide a long-term playground solution that will serve our students, staff and community for years to come. Our district is committed to building the future by investing in our kids’ safety and delivering fun learning experiences. We hope that Tipton will enjoy this investment for many years.”
The board voted to contract the services of municipal adviser Matt Deleo of Sentry Financial Services, Sullivan, to put together a lease-purchase package. He will do the paperwork, seek bids and offer the rates from which the board can choose a plan for financing. His fee is $1,500.