Goodridge School will get a new playground a little sooner than expected. Thanks to a $100,000 grant, the project will be completed in one phase this summer instead of two phases split over two summers.
Lions International recently awarded the grant to the Goodridge School District and Goodridge Lions and Lion Tamers.
“Due to this grant, we are now planning on building the entire playground this summer,” said Superintendent Tom Loberg. “With the help of grants, the community, area organizations, and area farmers, we have raised over $250,000 for the playground project. We raised $100,000 locally from the grain drive, donations from area organ
izations, and community support, and we received $150,000 worth of grants for the projects. All of the playground equipment will be purchased with 100% fundraised dollars. We are speechless at all the support we have received.”
The district wants to make the school playground safer and more accessible for its students. The current playground equipment was installed about 30 years ago. With the exception of one piece of playground equipment and the basketball courts, the district plans to replace all of the playground equipment.
The new playground will include two areas designed for each respective section of the elementary school. Area 1 will be designed for upper elementary students, grades 2-6, and Area 2 will be designed for lower elementary students, prekindergarten to first grade.
As the concept plans stand now, Area 1 will feature a jungle gym, two whirl-arounds, and two sets of swings. Area 2 will feature a jungle gym, a see saw, a playdozer, a playtown community helper, playcubes, and a set of swings.
The pea gravel will also be replaced with wood chips, which are compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act.
Loberg thanked donors for their support. Besides the Lions International grant, the project received donations/grants from Goodridge Area Development, the Beito Foundation, the Dondelinger Foundation, the Hartz Foundation, U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development, the Goodridge Lions, the Goodridge Lion Tamers, Border Bank, Thief River Falls Eagles Club and the Goodridge community. In addition, donations were also made in memory of Karen Kujanson Delorme and in memory of Kevin Dahlen.
A grain drive also raised money for the project and included area farms, CHS, Farmers Grain, and the Farmers Union Oil Fertilizer Plant.
In addition to thanking donors, Loberg also thanked the Northern Watch/Thief River Falls, the Grygla Eagle and Thief River Falls Radio for helping the school get the word out regarding its fundraising efforts.