Volunteers help build a new playground at Bayou View Elementary

GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - By Jessica Bowman – email

GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - About 50 volunteers put their hands to work Saturday building a playground for the students of Bayou View Elementary School. The school's Parent Teacher Association (PTA) has been raising funds for the past two years hoping they would one day have enough funds to get a new playground.

One by one volunteers tightened the nuts and bolts completing every piece to the life size puzzle.

Shawn Milam said, "It's really amazing. It's bigger than anything I ever had when I was a kid."

"I think it speaks for itself. I think it's kind of great," said Donald Marsh.

Volunteers spent hours helping Planet Recess playground designer Treynor McAdams complete his colorful vision. Holes were shoveled out, so posts fit perfectly into place as the brand new slide was handed up and bolted in.

Treynor McAdam said, "This has 14 value plated added pieces. So, a child ages five to 12 will be able to play on it. Go down three different slides and go down the climbers, as well."

The playground pieces were set in concrete and are ready to take on the jumping, sliding and climbing when the bell rings for recess.

"It took us two years, and we raised the money by selling wrapping paper," said Susan Stewart. "We have a fall festival every year."

Stewart is the part of Bayou View's PTA. She said their fund raising made the $55,000 playground a reality for all students, including her own.

"It's just a fantastic feeling. I wish my others would have been able to play on it also; however, her being here it's just a great feeling," said Stewart.

Volunteers said it's heart warming to be able to give children a sanctuary of their own.

Tammy Winstead said, "You know it's wonderful. We like to give back to the community a little bit, and it looks great; it looks great!"

Michael Rafael said, "It looks really nice. I'm really impressed. I think it's going to be really fun for the kids."

Sand still has to be spread across the ground before the playground can open to students.

Volunteers from UPS, Hands on Mississippi, the U.S. Air Force and the Bayou View's PTA helped Planet Recess construct the playground. PTA members say students will be able to enjoy the new playground in the next few days.

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