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New playground set for Edgeworth Elementary School

| Monday, Nov. 6, 2017, 11:00 p.m.

Students at Edgeworth Elementary School soon will have new slides, climbers and tunnels to play on — and even a place to play a game of tic-tac-toe.

Quaker Valley School District is installing a new playground at the school, after the wood on the old playground structure began to deteriorate over the last decade, said Joseph Marrone, director of administrative services.

The playground is heavily used in the Edgeworth community, as parents and grandparents alike often bring their children, or grandchildren, to play when school is not in session.

“You drive by any time of the day and you see the parents and their kids there,” he said. “This is a community asset. Everybody has a share in it.”

Decades ago, a group of parents rallied for a new playground to be built at the school. A large plaque still hangs in the playground to honor them, Marrone said.

In 2006, as the school faced a renovation, the playground was refurbished, however it kept much of its old charm.

“We talked to the parents and the parents said, ‘we'd really like to keep as much of that initial structure as possible,'” Marrone said.

So they did. Yet over the last 11 years, the treated lumber has deteriorated, and it's time to replace it, Marrone said. As old equipment broke, it was removed over the years, as the district worked under the motto “safety first.”

“That playground served the community well for so many years,” he said.

The district replaced the playground at Osborne Elementary School in 2007.

Edgeworth Principal Carol Sprinker and Tom Hess, supervisor of buildings and grounds, spearheaded this project, coordinating the design and overseeing the work. Marrone credits them for the new playground, along with the donations received from outside entities.

Knowing that the playground is an integral part of the community, Marrone approached an Edgeworth council member to seek help applying for grants.

Councilman David Aloe connected him with the Sewickley Valley Community Fund, which is dedicated to improving the quality of life in the 11 communities in the Quaker Valley.

The Sewickley Valley Community Fund donated $25,000 toward the project.

“It brought everyone together,” Marrone said. “The playground is for the community.”

The total cost of the playground equipment was $140,000. After receiving outside support, the district will pay about $70,000 for the playground, Marrone said.

“It will be really nice to have a new facility with modern equipment right there,” said Edgeworth Borough Manager John Schwend.

Parks in the borough keep their natural habitat and are for the “enjoyment of nature,” Schwend said. The playground at the school is open to — and used by — the community, leaders said.

“It's important that we support each other,” Schwend said.

Stephanie Hacke is a Tribune-Review contributing writer.

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