With the spring weather and the re-opening of in-school learning, Troy students are finally able to fully enjoy outdoor recess. In particular, students at Troy Heritage Trail Elementary School and Troy Craughwell Elementary School, which have new playgrounds this year. The students have really been enjoying the new equipment, according to Heritage Trail Principal Brooke Allen, who added that their favorite piece is the “spinner.”
Troy Director of Facilities and Operations Ben Hettel said the equipment replaces older apparatus, which was installed more than 20 years ago. He began researching what would be needed for the district’s five elementary school playgrounds in 2019, and those needs were further analyzed by a local landscape architect, then put into a formal plan after school board approval. The playgrounds are ADA-accessible, and the walking surfaces are made of poured-in-place rubber that Hettel said is one of the safest playground materials and has a long life expectancy. Hettel said the district is also pleased that children in the Troy community can also enjoy the equipment when school hours are not in session.
“When designing these playgrounds,” he said, “it was important to us to make them accessible to the community because they often use the equipment in the evenings and on weekends, and we encourage that.”
Troy’s William B. Orenic Intermediate School also received a new outdoor learning space this year, along with blacktop-painted four-square and kickball and new basketball hoops. In a year, W.B.O is expecting its first outdoor “playground,” which Hettel said will be more skill-oriented than the equipment at the grade schools. The skills students will develop there will be designed to help them with sports and other similar endeavors. This summer, replacement playgrounds will be installed at Troy Shorewood Elementary School and Troy Cronin Elementary School.
“These playgrounds were a commendable commitment by our board of education,” Hettel said.