Students at Wright City elementary schools will have more variety and safer options when it comes to recreational activities this academic year.

The district is completing its update of playgrounds at East and West elementary schools, with extensive renovations for equal opportunity use by all students. West Elementary’s new playground area was finalized earlier in the month, with the construction at East Elementary expected to be concluded this week.

“This is part of the five-year plan created by community and staff members three years ago,” said R-II Superintendent Dr. David Buck. “We put in to upgrade playgrounds, including adding shade functions.”

While the playground equipment itself is new and more functional, accommodating sensory needs and range of mobility needs, the surrounding area has also been improved. Shade covers have been added along with softer surface and mulch.

“This is now where it will be a multiple modality and multiple mobility playground,” said Buck.

There is an option for students who use wheelchairs to use a ramp to access elements of the playground, so as not to be excluded.

West Elementary also updated its safety features.

“We ripped out some of the things at West that were dated and that didn’t meet current playground industry standards,” said Buck. “Our population has grown, but our playgrounds have not.”

All told, the project cost is expected to come in around $270,000.

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