A new place for play at Parkade: 'More jungle gyms,' 'new monkey bars,' 'a football field'

Sunday, April 27, 2008 | 7:41 p.m. CDT; updated 8:10 a.m. CDT, Tuesday, July 22, 2008
The Parkade Elementary School playground is getting an upgrade, thanks to a $15,000 grant approved by the City Council.

COLUMBIA — If you had thousands of dollars to spend on new playground equipment, what would you buy?

The Columbia City Council recently approved a $15,000 grant for playground equipment at Parkade Elementary School. The grant will be used to install playground equipment primarily for third- through fifth-graders.

The council first approved the grant for Field Elementary School but switched to Parkade after the Columbia School Board decided Field would no longer function as a kindergarten through fifth-grade elementary school.

The Missourian spoke with some of the students from Parkade to find out their preferences for the new equipment. We asked what students would buy for the playground.

Here's what we found:

Third Grade

Niya Mcadoo: “New monkey bars. There are three bars missing in the middle of the ones we have now.”

Dylan Valleroy: “A football field, because I like to play football, and I know a lot of people that like football.”

Students at Parkade Elementary School drew pictures of what equipment they would buy for the playground and how they would redesign the space.
Parkade Elementary School students drew what they wanted to see their playground become. Updated equipment was the most popular request among students.
Students at Parkade Elementary School used drawings to depict how they would redesign their playground space.
Faith Woolford, fifth grade: "Tire swings and a really, really long slide. I want to be able to have fun with some new things instead of playing with this same old stuff."
Jake Riess, fourth grade: "I think (the playground) needs at least one more jungle gym. Our jungle gym is boring. They could at least add something reasonable. That thing is terrible."
Dylan Valleroy, third grade: "A football field because I like to play football and I know a lot of people that like football."
Kennede Coleman, fifth grade: "More swings, more basketball courts and more exciting things for kids to do."
Hailey Theberge, fourth grade: "More jungle gyms. It's just a bunch of pipes. We need more accessories on our jungle gym."
Tanner Smith, third grade: "Tether ball and new monkey bars. All the kids like to play with those."
Deandre and Demarcus Harris, third grade.
Demarcus: "More basketball courts because everyone always wants to play basketball, but there's not always enough courts."
Robert Knowles, fifth grade: "I would buy tether balls and a new slide."
Curtis Sprinkle, fourth grade: "A new swing set and a new curly slide because they're really cool. You can water down the slide or pour water on yourself, and it will make it more fun."
Cole Serrage, third grade: "New acrobat things and a new jungle gym because we only have small spaces and small things. We need more space to have fun."
Rayneesha Barksdale, fifth grade: "I would buy a better field. I would try to put in jungle gyms and slides for the kids. More swings and basketball courts to fill the pavement up."
Jacob Hollinshead, fifth grade: "I'd definitely buy a bigger slide and bigger swing sets that aren't so rusty and stuff."
Jerry Troy, third grade: "Some tether balls so more kids can play."
Corrie Smith, fifth grade: "A better playground for the fifth-graders. No one wants to play on this stuff."
Madalyn Wells, third grade.
Kayla Wingate, fifth grade: "An individual basketball court so people won’t get run over when they’re trying to get to the other playground equipment.”

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Mike Griggs April 30, 2008 | 8:18 a.m.

Since 1998, the City Council has authorized the spending of "Park Sales Tax" funds for outdoor play equipment to be located on public school grounds.

The policy requires that the School District agree to make the outdoor facilities available for use by the public whenever it is not being used for school activities. Previous projects funded under this policy include Grant (1998), Benton (2000), Field (2000), Lee (2001), West Blvd (2002), Parkade (2004), Mill Creek (2005), Shepard (2006), Blue Ridge (2007), Russell (2007) and Ridgeway (2007) Elementary Schools. No appropriation was funded in FY-2003.

The program will last until 2011 when the Park Sales Tax is scheduled to exire. It is anticipated that this issue will be presented to the voters sometime in 2010 for renewal consideration.

If a Columbia school would like to participate in this program, please contact Mike Griggs, Park Services Manager, or 573-874-7201. More information on the program may be found at:

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