Turner Elementary receives new playground equipment

Photo by Casey Dixon

Photo by Casey Dixon

ALBANY, Ga. -- Working long days under unforgiving 90-plus degree temperatures made for a challenging work environment for Greg King and Patrick Lohman.

The Southern Playgrounds subcontractors assembled five new units of playground equipment at Turner Elementary School last week in a mere three days.

The Dougherty County Board of Education voted 7-0 at its April 29 meeting to approve new playground equipment for Turner, Lake Park, Magnolia and Sylvester Road elementary schools. Southern Playgrounds of Marietta was the low bidder at $28,062 for each site with a total amount of $112,248. The entire project was paid for by special-purpose, local-option sales tax funds.

At Sylvester Road and Lake Park, King and Lohman will be relocating existing playground equipment to make room for the new units, King explained. The pair will work on Magnolia this week and then move to Sylvester Road and Lake Park thereafter.

About 90 percent of the playground equipment was unloaded about two weeks ago, King said.

"It couldn't all fit on one 18-wheeler," he said.

King said he packed and cooled three cases of bottled Dasani purified water for each day's work. Both King and Lohman worked roughly 12-hour days, starting work at about 7 a.m.

The pair installed a multi-use unit with a slide on their first day, last Tuesday. They added a six-position swing set and super dome on Wednesday and concluded by installing triple twists units and a cosmic wrap on Thursday.

King of Fairhope, Ala., said he has been installing playground equipment since 1994 and has worked in 30 states. He said the frequency the school systems installed playground equipment depended on the economy.

"People will hang on to a playground longer to replace things inside a building," he said.

DCSS Public Information Director R.D. Harter predicted the new playground equipment at the schools would be welcomed enthusiastically by students.

"The way elementary children respond with excitement about finding new playground equipment on the school playground is a great thing to see," he said. "We are glad to have the opportunity to bring four schools up to the level of our other schools in regards to the kinds of equipment available to our children. Our facilities staff has worked hard to provide these upgrades."