GLEN ELLYN – With the help of the Arbor View Parent Teacher Council and several generous companies and organizations, students at Arbor View Elementary School in Glen Ellyn now have a new playground.
"It took three years to get us where we are today," Arbor View Principal David Bruno said during an Aug. 30 ribbon-cutting ceremony, which was held in conjunction with the school's Back to School Bash.
He also thanked those at the ceremony for their help in making the new playground a reality.
"Through those three years, we have done numerous fundraising campaigns, and honestly, it couldn't have been done without everybody here," Bruno said. "Everybody here all played a role. We raised well over $100,000 in cash and also well over $150,000 in in-kind donations as well. It's a beautiful playground."
Several companies and organizations that donated more than $2,500 to the project in donations or in-kind services helped Bruno cut the ribbon. In addition, the Parent Teacher Council raised more than $100,000 for the playground by selling brick pavers, hosting a 5K race and holding various fundraisers.
The new playground is age appropriate for preschool through fifth-graders and includes features that are more accessible for all students, including a spinner that students who use wheelchairs can ride.
PTC President Julie Lerch said she was impressed by the support the organization received from the community for the construction of the new playground.
"We're very fortunate," she said. "We're very fortunate for all the people that supported the playground in order to create a new environment for the kids of Arbor View."
The school's previous playground was 17 years old, and it had deteriorated over the years. Lerch said replacing the playground was a community effort. Along with the fundraising efforts, about 60 people volunteered their time to help put the playground together.
"It took a village," she said. "It was very much of a community endeavor."
The new playground has been well received, Lerch said.
"It's constantly filled, and they absolutely love it," she said.
And even when school is not in session, the playground still will be open to the surrounding community.
"This particular playground is the only playground in the Valley View community," Lerch said.