Why a Playground Was Needed

Pagels School is multicultural elementary school and was in need of a playground accessible to those with handicaps. Twenty percent of our total student population consists of individuals with special needs, including learning disabilities, autism, neurological conditions, physical disabilities, intellectual disabilities and rare medical conditions. Within Pagels School, seven self-contained special education classrooms are provided for those individuals requiring specialized programs. Four of these classrooms are designated for children with Autism Spectrum Disorders, while the three other classrooms include those students with multiple disabilities.

After major fundraising efforts, we are proud to say our playground has been built and is providing all children of our school (and city) with a safe and fun recreational area. The entire Pagels community is grateful to all of the donors and volunteers who made this dream a reality.

Prior to the project, our children within this aforementioned population were not able to access and utilize the playground. The landscaping of the former playground consisted of elevated ground with raised barriers to enclose the structure. The barriers and landscaping made it difficult for those individuals with vision, motor, and safety concerns to access the playground. Individuals with wheelchairs could not make an attempt to enter the structure at all. The playground structure itself was not enclosed on the sides, leaving the students susceptible to falls. The height and design of the playground did not allow for individuals with atypical development to climb, walk or play independently.

The replacement of our current playground with a handicap accessible playground has allowed for all students at Pagels School to participate in recess. Additionally, it provides playground admittance for other students within the city who require a handicap accessible structure but do not attend Pagels School. The addition of a handicap accessible structure now enables all Pagels School students to have equal opportunity to participate in the most vital social activity of school.