A playscape that had to be removed two years ago to make room for temporary classrooms at School is headed for refurbishment and then donated to Haiti, representatives of a school committee working on the project said.
"We do have an opportunity to go down (to Haiti) and help put it in," said Jim Walsh, a member of the committee tasked with resurrecting an old playground at the school.
The playscape originally was installed in 2000, and in 2010 was removed to make way for portable classrooms, Walsh said. For two years, the dissembled playscape still sat in a pile unused, he said.
"We were advised by the manufacturer that because of safety concerns and code changes not to re-erect the playground," Walsh said. "Our first thought was 'What to do with the old playscape?'"
Rather than send the equipment to the junkyard, committee members reached out to representatives who originally sold the playscape to the school and learned about a Christian nonprofit, Kids Around the World, that takes used playground equipment, refurbishes them and then ships and installs them overseas in poor communities, Walsh said.
The Rockford, IL-based group apparently specializes in taking used playscape equipment for installation outside of the United States, according to the company's website.
Apparently, many of these playscapes, such as the one at St. Rose, can't be reused in the United States once they have been dissembled due to code violations, but if they are in good condition, can find new life overseas, Walsh said.
The donation also allows the committee to further its goal of being environmentally friendly, Walsh said, adding the next task will be to start fundraising for a new playscape, which runs in the tens of thousands of dollars.
The goal is to have a new playground at St. Rose by late spring or early summer.