On its maiden voyage, who better to offer a glimmer of insight into the intricacies of Marion Elementary School’s new playground than students who played extensively on the old one?
Between traversing the many bright and shiny apparatuses, Tina Hague’s fifth grade offered a chorus of approval Thursday.
“It’s better,” Natalie Sigel said. “There’s more stuff.”
Her classmate Katie Ottensmeier liked that there were more slides, things to climb on, and shadowy places through which to scuttle.
With time, some students may start a recess band as many took turns vigorously pounding outdoor drums and xylophones.
Two boys, Conner Austin and Caleb Lollar, exclaimed, “This is awesome, and “I love it,” while their classmate Ella Mackey said “It’s a lot awesomer than the old one,” before running off across the crunching rocks to try the swiftly turning merry-go-round.
Hague said many of her students were excited about the spinning stuff.
“I don’t know how they do it,” she said. “Put me on a roller coaster and I’m fine, but spinning just makes me sick.”
Across the schoolyard, another group of students congregated around another spiraling piece of equipment dubbed “the tornado” according to Jack Lanning, a fifth grade whirling enthusiast. Jack also confirmed that no one had become dizzy enough to be sick.
Negotiating play pieces that look like trees and rocks, Cheyenne Sawyer, an energetic climber, said the new playground has better monkey bars than the old one.
“It’s all connected so we don’t ever have to touch the ground,” she said.
Tag aficionado Gavin Regier explained the new playground was great for both “normal tag” and a type of tag where students “die” if they touch the ground.
Earlier in the day, school officials, volunteers, and community members attended a dedication ceremony for the playground at which many who helped with the project were recognized.
“A lot of parents remember the old playground; it was about 25 years old,” principal Justin Wasmuth said. “There were a lot of people who put a lot of hard work into this project for a year, and now we have another piece in place for decades to come.”
At the ceremony, the entire student body exclaimed “Thank you” cheering and clapping for the community achievement.