Ernest Hemingway Elementary receives the 2016 Playground Project of the Year Award from playground manufacturer, Playcraft Systems
Ernest Hemingway Elementary, Ketchum Idaho: The students at Ernest Hemingway Elementary have been enjoying their new playground for almost a year now. The new playground equipment replaced old equipment that had been in the ground for over 25 years.
The entire playground was designed by Playcraft Systems of Grants Pass, Oregon and installed under the direction of Blaine County Maintenance Director, Lester Wilson, who is a Certified Playground Safety Inspector. Wilson was instrumental in choosing a design that was both challenging and fun for the students and met safety requirements.
The installation was completed in May of 2016 with the grand opening just before school let out for the summer. However, extensive planning and fundraising started the year before.
Principal Don Haisely and PTO President Laura Gvozdas persisted in making the new playground exceptional. In addition to expanding the original footprint to include more playground toys, swings and spinners, they combined the fundraising efforts of the school and the City of Ketchum, whose Parks building is adjacent to the school property. Together, these groups set a precedence; Hemingway Elementary was long overdue AND nothing less than the best would do.
“The playground fundraising efforts kicked off in May of 2015 with the Hemingway Walkathon Fundraiser where the Hemingway students raised $22,000 for their new playground. The fundraising committee then continued those efforts throughout 2015 by meeting with local foundations and organizations as well as circulating a fundraising mailing to individuals in our community in order to raise the funds needed for this important playground.” Laura Gvodas, PTO President
Of all the Playcraft playgrounds installed last year, the Playcraft team chose the Hemingway playground to receive the prestigious “Project of the Year Award.” The award is given for the most improved playground, outstanding design and exceptional team work.
Nicole Stoddard, of LuckyDog Recreation represented Playcraft Systems and presented the award to Ms. Laura Gvozdas and Mr. Lester Wilson during a school assembly, May 2017. If you haven’t played on the new equipment yet, you owe it to yourself and your family to check it out. Bring a picnic, because the playground is so much fun and offers a lot to do, you will want to make a day of it. Ernest Hemingway Elementary, 111 8th Street, Ketchum, ID 83340.
“Thank you to everyone who contributed and pushed to make this outstanding playground a reality for the kids of Ernest Hemingway Elementary. A project of this magnitude takes great leadership, loads of attention, dedication and hundreds of contributions of time, money and effort.” Nicole Stoddard, LuckyDog Recreation