Grade corrected in grade school upgrade

SES playground gets slope corrected to shed rainwater, colorful additions to adorn surface


Saratoga Elementary School (SES) students returning to school next week will get to enjoy a newly-renovated playground, and staff at the school will enjoy no more headaches any time it rains.

The playground at the school received a makeover during the summer. Students will get a new, high tech rubberized ground covering and colorful games and educational designs baked onto the pavement. Faculty and staff will no longer have to deal with water running on the floor of the building when there is rain.

According to Dave Rangitsch, Principal of SES, before the improvements, the playground was covered in pea gravel and because of a grade issue, whenever it would rain, water would run into the building’s western wing where it would pool on the floor. Faculty and staff would then have to clean the mess.

“I’d be over there pushing water out every time it rained,” Rangitsch said. “Now, they have corrected the grade.”

The ground cover surrounding the playground equipment is also an upgrade for students. Made from recycled tires that have been ground into small chunks and then stuck together with an adhesive, the ground is firm, but with a slight spring.

According to one manufacturer of the material, Rubberway, Inc., of Irvine, Calif., the advantages to rubber sidewalks and playgrounds are not only that they are softer—better to reduce bruises, scrapes, sprains and other injuries caused by children falling off playground equipment—but they also last longer because the material is flexible and resists cracking. The material is also available in an array of colors.

Students will also have colorful games and educational designs such as a map of the solar system permanently on the paved area of the playground. “They put the stuff down on the pavement and burn it in with a torch,” Rangitsch said.

Construction is still ongoing as of Monday, but it is expected that the playground will be finished by the time school begins for SES students on August 22.


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