Dec 6, 2023
It was a doubleheader for Field Elementary School on Thursday, Sept. 14, as the Falcons community celebrated their new playground and library and media center with back-to-back ribbon-cutting ceremonies.
The playground was replaced due to age, functionality and the fact there were items that could no longer be repaired due to parts being obsolete. Community Consolidated School District 21 also removed the playground at the southeast end of the property to create one larger structure for all students to use.
“These spaces are a priority since our playgrounds provide learning experiences, not just during the school day or year, but outside of the structured educational day, as well,” said Dr. Michael Connolly, superintendent of schools.
The playground also features totally accessible equipment and surfaces, which will become standard for all new playgrounds being renovated across the district.
“This safe, sturdy equipment was designed to engage our students in outdoor play and enlist their imagination to play and grow,” added Bill Harrison, vice president of the board of education.
Crystal Jimenez, principal at Field, called the work a “wonderful commitment to our students and allows for safe play for all.”
Eloise H. and Kylie L., fifth graders at the school, also presented during the ceremony, offering an acrostic to describe the playground and LMC as a “fun break in the day, inclusive for everyone, exciting and new, learning and playing, and designed for” the Falcons community.
The celebration then moved indoors, where district officials – and several special guests – helped commemorate the new LMC.
“Our students and staff will benefit from this upgraded, modern center in a number of ways,” Dr. Connolly said, including as an additional resource for learning and to promote reading.
The LMC is one of four across the district – including Frost and Kilmer Elementary Schools, along with London Middle School – that received a complete renovation during the summer, part of the district’s ongoing project to update all LMCs after successfully passing its referendum.
“We are incredibly lucky to have this amazing space, and I know our students and staff have already started taking advantage of it,” Jimenez added. “I just love seeing all the different areas and how comfortable the students have already become with it.”