Elmwood Schools

JERRY CITY – Elmwood elementary students may have new hopscotch squares to jump on and a map of the United States to study this fall.

The board of education has reintroduced plans to revamp and update the elementary playground.

The plans were put on hold in April after being introduced along with expansion ideas in March.

At that time, the project came in at an estimated cost of $126,000-$213,000, depending on the work being approved.

Estimates from Garmann Miller & Associates were for replacing the existing asphalt where the basketball court is and adding new basketball hoops at an estimated cost of $126,000.

Adding new fencing, tables and benches and a mulch pad would bring the cost to about $213,000.

Superintendent Tony Borton presented updated numbers at the board meeting, held in person on Feb. 8.

He said he asked Morlock Asphalt, of Portage, to look at the basketball court.

He was told the base looks fine and doesn’t need to be replaced. To mill away the top layer, reseal it and stripe in keys and a couple sets of Four Square would cost $25,450.

Morlock also recommended sealing the blacktop on the preschool side at a cost of $2,700, Borton said.

Filling in the area around the basketball court with mulch would mean tearing everything out, putting down stone and then adding mulch. That would cost an estimated $19,600.

Morlock could do the work for an estimated total of $47,750, Borton said, which is a lot better than the estimate given by the architects.

He suggested the district would keep its existing basketball poles as opposed to spending $25,000 on six new ones.

“That’s just a lot to spend on new hoops,” Borton said.

He said it would be more cost effective to pull and reset the existing poles at a cost of $7,100.

If the decision is made to replace the hoops, he suggested saving money by purchasing only four.

The plan is to have a map of the U.S. painted on the playground at a cost of $950 if it is outlined and $1,800 if the states are painted.

The person who would do the work was opposed to painting the states, explaining that it trains kids to identify the state by a color that has meaning, Borton said.

Just an outline “makes the kids think just a little harder on how our USA is built,” he said.

An additional $3,000 could be spent on ideas shared by elementary Principal Gary Dulle that included painting inspirational sayings and the state of Ohio and the mascot, and adding corn hole and large checker boards.

The total cost of these projects would be around $11,050.

All projects could be done for less than $60,000.

“To me, this is much more reasonable than what I thought it was going to cost us,” Borton said.

“Thank you for the options,” said board President Ryan Lee. “I think it’s important for us to see all the things you are reviewing.”

A new fence around the preschool playground also was part of the original estimate, but a review showed only the need was for a new latch at the gate.

“The fence is in really good condition,” Borton said.

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