Slingluff Elementary now funded for inclusive playground

Published 06/19 2014 06:36PM

Updated 06/19 2014 08:39PM

After more than two years in the making, construction will soon begin on a new playground designed to include special needs children.

"We're excited that we were able to reach our goal so we can begin construction on our all-inclusive playground here at Morris Slingluff Elementary School," said Principal Jeff Torrence.

Projects like this can far exceed costs of more than $100,000.00, which many schools can't afford, and the project stalled as the school struggled to raise the money.

But just this week, the Wiregrass Foundation approved a grant that will provide the remaining funds needed for the project.

"We want to make sure that our special needs kids have an opportunity to have some physical education, just like our regular education kids, at least one hour to 45 minutes a day," Torrence said.

He says roughly 33% of the students are severely disabled, and the current playground doesn't accommodate all of their needs.

But he says the new playground will create a safer environment where all kids, regardless of their abilities, can play.

"At this point, since we've reached our goal financially, we will begin meetings and discussing take off on this project, where we will begin talking about a date for our groundbreaking and also a date for our grand opening," said Torrence.

He says they hope to begin the project within the next 30 days and construction could take up to ten weeks.

School officials and engineers will meet on July 1st to provide more details on the project.

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