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Kids get a kick out of new field at Northeast Elementary

PARKER – The kids at Northeast Elementary gave the school’s new athletic field a proper inauguration taking a run on the new turf during a ribbon cutting ceremony.
All of the students and staff gathered outside the school on Tuesday August 27 to celebration the completion of the project. Unlike most schools, Northeast, which was built in 1966, never had a plush, green field for kids to play on.
“My kids went here and there was never any grass out there,” said Northeast Elementary Principal Jeannie Tynecki.
“It was always just a dirt field for the 24 years I’ve been here, added Bill Fordyce, Douglas County School District’s grounds manager.
The old field consisted of dirt and whatever weeds would grow there.
“It just was not a very good spot for them to play. They’d go home with scratched up knees and there were goat heads weeds in the field,” Fordyce said.
“We had more kids come in with cuts, scraped knees and bruises, just kind of beat up. They would still go play out in the dirt, it just wasn’t very good for their knees or their elbows,” Tynecki said.
The school did have a natural grass field on the southeast side where kids could run during physical education classes. 
It, however, was not ideal.
“Unfortunately the kids play in the back for recess, so they can’t use the field, because we do not have enough coverage, people to watch the entire area,” Tynecki said.
Plus, students have to cross the school’s driveway, where cars and school busses travel, creating another safety concern.
With student safety as a primary concern, Tynecki decided it was time that Northeast got an athletic field that kids could really enjoy daily. 
Working with DCSD’s Grounds Department, an irrigation system was installed, sod placed and new trees, which were donated by families at the school, were planted. They even added soccer goals at the school’s request.
“I really have to give credit to [the Grounds Department]. They really listened to what we wanted, what the kids wanted and they did it,” Tynecki said.
On Tuesday, the kids had their chance to try out the new field. Each grade got the chance to have it’s own ribbon cutting during the school-wide event and then the students ran out onto the grass.
For the rest of the day, kids could be seen playing soccer, softball or just running around on the turf.
“It was so fun. The kids were all over the field. I don’t think there was anybody on the blacktop or the playground,” Tynecki said.
While it’s clear that the kids at Northeast and their parents are extremely pleased by the project, Tynecki says she couldn’t make everyone happy. 
“The sixth-graders at Sagewood Middle School are hot and mad. They said, ‘we just left and now you’ve got grass,’” Tynecki said.
Tynecki says the next phase of the project will be to put in gardens for each grade near by.
Grounds personnel have recently upgraded the athletic field at Pine Lane Elementary School and are planning to work on the one at Iron Horse Elementary School this fall. He says beyond the valid safety concerns, maintaining the fields saves money and time.
“If [the field is] mud, then the kids are tracking mud back into the building. Then it makes more work for the Custodial Department because they’re trying to vacuum up the mud and the dirt. There is more for them to clean,” Fordyce explained.
The project was paid for in part by savings from the Grounds Department, created through responsible management of taxpayer dollars.
October 14, 2013 | By Anonymous | Category:

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