Alexander Graham Bell Elementary School (3730 N. Oakley Ave.) is about to get a new and improved playground. This week Principal Sandra Caudill and Ald. Eugene Schulter (47th) broke ground on the new play lot, which will be installed by Chicago Public High School students. They are part of CPS’ Groundbreakers—a youth initiative playground program—and are employed by the city under the supervision of Groundbreakers director, Felicia Ramos.
Following the installation, the school will have two separate playgrounds: one 50 x 50 square foot lot for students ages 5 – 12 years old, and one 40 x 50 lot for children ages 3 – 5. Caudill said they were needed to replace the old plastic and wooden playground equipment. Her school applied for the Groundbreakers program last year but didn’t get picked. This time around, Bell was a little more fortunate.
“This was our lucky year,” Caudill said. “The old playground was very unsafe and outdated.”
The equipment for the two new lots arrived July 7 and will be installed within the next two weeks. Groundbreakers’ student employees provided various design options, and the final design was voted on by a panel of students, teachers, and parents. Caudill said Ald. Schulter has been key in getting the new installation and that parents have been thrilled with it.
“Between the field turf and playground, we’re transforming our lot,” Caudill said.