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Community rallies for playground improvements in Holladay

Posted at 9:32 PM, Dec 01, 2021
and last updated 2021-12-01 23:32:01-05

HOLLADAY, Utah — A community group is rallying for a positive change.

Parents at Crestview Elementary are working to renovate the school’s playground so it can be enjoyed by all students.

Currently, the surface and play structure are not wheelchair accessible.

That often forces 4th grade student Mike Suarez to watch recess from the sidelines.

“It kind of makes me feel sad,” Mike said.

“He just wants to be involved. He just wants to play with his friends,” added Amber Suarez, Mike’s mom. “I had to come to the school for a meeting. He didn't know I was here. I had to see him watch from the sidelines with his aide. It was heartbreaking.”

Now Amber is part of the Crestview Playground Committee. The group of parents is organizing the Crestview Playground Project to renovate the play area so no child is left out. The group is raising $300,000 for the renovations because the Granite School District says it can’t afford the bill.

“A lot of questions have come up. Why doesn't the district pay for a new playground,” said Ben Horsley, spokesperson for the Granite School District. “We are in a tough situation. We have some of the oldest school buildings in Utah. Voters approved a bond in 2017, but costs have skyrocketed.”

The district is currently dealing with projects like making improvements to aging school buildings and has a finite budget.

District leadership has given its blessing to the community to raise the money for the updated playground.

Amber is understanding of the district’s funding limitations.

While the $300,000 goal to make the project happen seems like a monumental task, she and other parents are determined to make the new playground a reality for Mike and other children with special needs.

“My son has touched a lot of lives. More than I would have imagined,” she said. “We are going to make it happen.”

People who would like to donate can do so directly with the Granite School District and indicate the money be allocated only for the playground project.

Donations can also be made by clicking here.

According to the Americans with Disabilities Act, there is no requirement to make the current playground wheelchair accessible.

In 2010 the law was revised so any playground built or altered after March 15, 2012 must comply with the ADA standards of accessible design.