Residents help build playground

Heritage Elementary School has a new playground.

On Sept. 6 more than 30 community members came to the grade school to help install new equipment.

"It's amazing," said Principal Kristi Sanders.

Sanders said the school has been saving for a few years to afford the $20,000 playground. The Heritage Parent Teacher Committee donated $4,000.

The equipment includes numerous types of monkey bars, swings and a climbing wall.

 Sanders said she was impressed that the community had rallied for the cause and had come out to help install the playground.

"It's been a fun community thing," she said.

The playground, which is for students in third through eighth grade, does fall under the school's CATCH program, which encourages students to live healthy, active lives.

Sanders said students would often complain to her that they had nothing to do after lunch.

Now she hopes students will take advantage of the new equipment and be active.

Homer resident Kris Brown said she and her family were happy to help with the project.

"It's nice to see so many community members here," she said.

Mike Cederlund, from Team Reil, a company that provides playground equipment, said 30 to 40 community members is average for a community build.

"Playgrounds draw people to community builds," he said.

Team Reil does 30 community builds a year.

Cederlund said his job was to ensure the equipment is installed to manufacturers recommendations.

Cederlund said he supervises the majority of the community builds for Team Reil.

"I like the fact that it brings everybody together," he said. "Every build I've been to is unique."

Cederlund said community builds benefit the community in by allowing the community members to build and take ownership of something that will be in town for 30 to 40 years while keeping costs down.

"This makes the playground affordable," he said.

The playground would cost $6-7,000 to install, Cederlund said. Team Reil brings the tools and equipment to the community build.

Homer resident Susanne Garrison said she was at the community build because of her daughter Natalie.

"She was really excited to get a playground," she said. "It's great to see the school board, superintendent and community members out here helping."

Garrison said she thought the community participation showed how residents value Homer.

"They take pride in our community," she said.

Homer resident Roy Woodmansee was also inspired to help by his child.

"My youngest son invited me to help," Woodmansee said.

Woodmansee said he enjoyed seeing so many community members at the build.

"When I came around the corner, I was glad to see so many people were here," he said. "This is awesome."

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