Rotarians begin to build new playground
Local Rotarians and others joined forces Saturday morning to begin putting together a new playground at Skyline Elementary.
The new equipment is being assembled on the site of the old playground, which was condemned last year by the city of Cape Coral because the structures had deteriorated. The playground, known as “Starland,” was built in the early 1990s as a community service project. The structures, which were made of wood, broke down with time.
“The neighbors and the school really missed the playground,” Elmer Tabor, a local Rotarian and business leader, said Saturday at the site.
The new playground was originally going to go in at Rotary Park, but a Cape Coral family came forward with a plan to build a playground at Rotary Park in the memory of their son, who was killed by one of the family’s dogs. The club supported the proposal, the Liam J. Perk Playground, then found itself with a playground in need of a home.
The Rotarians partnered with the school and city to install the new equipment at the former Starland site. The playground will be maintained by the Parks and Recreation Department, according to Tabor. The equipment will be used by the students during school hours, but the playground will be open to the community on the weekends.
The equipment consists of slides, double slides, monkey bars and different climber configurations, along with a swing set with strapped in swings, a handicapped accessible swing and a fun swing. About 30 volunteers showed up on Saturday to lend a hand.
David Scott, a past president of the Rotary Club of Cape Coral, explained that recess is an important component of a child’s education because it provides physical activity and an opportunity to develop social skills.
“We’ve all learned that playtime in a school is just as valuable as their education,” he said.
The project is expected to cost about $40,000 in total, according to Scott.
“It doesn’t look like much, but it’s exceedingly expensive,” he said.
Skyline Elementary donated about $7,000 toward the project, with the rest covered by the three Rotary Clubs in Cape Coral. Gametime provided discounts on the equipment.
“Rotary is a service organization,” Scott said. “We raise money, and we spend it on the local communities.”
The Rotarians hope to complete the playground, which will be worked on during the weekends, before students return to school in August. As for the help offered by club members and non-members to finish the project, Tabor explained that that is the Cape.
“That’s what Cape Coral is all about,” he said. “The sense of spirit, team.”
“That, to me, is what the Cape Coral community is all about,” Tabor said.