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The Calvin Leete Parent Teachers Organization (PTO) is on its way to completing its Playground Project, with Phase Two approved by the Board of Education (BOE) last week.
Phase two adds a multi-use jungle-gym-type piece that can serve 20 to 30 kids at once, with monkey bars, climbing apparatus, and seats.
The new piece of equipment, which will be installed in mid-February, was made possible through $35,000 in donations.
"There were two things that have happened that enabled us to move forward on this phase a little faster than we thought," said PTO President Pam Miller.
One is that Leete parent Tara Taylor runs an organization called Breaking Barriers Foundation, which donated $11,500. Another is that First Selectman Joseph Mazza agreed to have the town complete some of the site work for free.
"Also, add that to the fact that the manufacturer was discounting equipment by 25 percent for the end of the year, so we were like, 'Let's do it!'" Miller said.
This new piece of equipment is coming from Big Toys. According to the www.bigtoys.com website, this playground structure is the company's largest and can hold a large number of children, enabling them to exercise, climb, and socialize.
"There's eight different activities on it including overhead activities to build upper-body strength, and the way it's designed will inspire creativity for the older children as well," Miller told the BOE. "It's very cool looking and very different than the traditional playground equipment."
The first phase of the project was approved in October 2012 with the installation of the webclimber. Since starting fundraising efforts in the beginning of the 2012-'13 school year, the PTO has raised more than $60,000.
One of the largest efforts came out of the brick campaign, with community members and residents purchasing bricks that will be laid this spring near the new equipment-$28,000 has come from brick purchases. The PTO will be accepting brick orders until Feb. 15.
BOE Chair William Bloss thanked the PTO and its fundraising efforts, saying, "This is one of those projects that really reflects very well not only on your school community, but the entire town. We are very grateful and approve this with our deep appreciation."
To purchase a brick (ranging from $125 to $1,000) contact Miller at 203-829-4757 or visit www.calvinleetepto.com.