New and Improved


A look at the playground building process, from old and ragged to new and improved

As some may have noticed, the playground for the preschoolers disappeared, and a pile of dirt took its place for much of the winter. Now the spring weather has brought about the construction of the new playground, and the project is in its final stages.

The new playground includes the same equipment being installed at new high schools, a structure with several different climbing components and slides, as well as a tunnel between two of the platforms.  It also has a plastic play storefront feature under one of the platforms.  A set of “toadstool steps” is also being installed near the climbing structure. Brian Stocks is the Director of Management and Coordination

According to the Loudoun County Public Schools Supervisor of Management and Coordination Erin Goodykoontz, the reason for the old playground being taken down is that the previous playground equipment was an older wood-based structure that needed repair. It was the only wood-based Early Childhood Environment (ECE) playground in LCPS, and the wood from the playground began to deteriorate over time. Based on condition and need repairs, Loudoun County’s Management and Coordination Team elected to replace the playground.

“We elected to replace it to put in a newer, more resilient structure that would better serve both the ECE preschool students and the high school students supporting them for the long run,” said Goodykoontz.

The process of this may take some time, but it the playground will meet Loudoun County’s standards, and the preschoolers will have a safer place to play. The Property Improvement Review Team (PIRT) worked with Principle Dr. Brandon Wolfe to identify the need for a replacement playground.

After that, PIRT worked with one of the approved playground vendors to price and plan for the installation. This newest ECE playground represents what is called the “standard” for preschool-age playgrounds (ages 2-5) for PIRT.

PIRT worked with the Department of Support Services to provide project management through their civil engineers and coordinated the excavation of the mulch through Facilities Services. Finally, PIRT coordinated playground component colors with Wolfe and completed the financial transactions to purchase the playground and installation from their vendor.

Installation has begun for the equipment, surfacing, and accessible ramps and the project is slated to be finished next week. Once installation is complete, an LCPS Certified Playground Safety Inspector will perform a final inspection to ensure that the playground is safe to open for ECE program use.