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Flora Elementary School Hires Kidstuff Playsystems, Inc. to Design and Construct New Playground

May 16th, 2017 - by Kidstuff Playsystems, Inc. | Share on:

Flora Elementary School was completed in August 2015, and since it serves children from pre-kindergarten to fifth grade, of course, playgrounds were needed for its sprawling campus in Flora, IL.

What better company to meet the school's needs than one that is certified by the International Play Equipment Manufacturers Association (IPEMA), is also ISO 9001 certified and builds ADA-compliant playground equipment?

Richard Hagelberg, co-owner of Kidstuff Playsystems, Inc., estimates that 60 percent of his business is with schools, but his company has also supplied playground equipment to parks, day care centers, churches, apartment complexes, Head Start programs, homeowner's associations, campgrounds, new developments and resorts. His company designs, builds, powder-coats and distributes the equipment out of its headquarters in Gary, IN.

Flora, IL has a little more than 5,000 residents, according to the 2010 Census, and the Flora Community Unit School District #35 servces about 1,450 students. The town is located in Clay County, in the southeastern part of the state. Joel Hackney, superintendent of the school district, said Flora Elementary has 46 classrooms, between 700-800 students, and is about 126,000 square feet in size.

Working with the playground installer was a great experience, from the design phase all the way through installation, Hackney said, "As with any new construction process, timing was critical, and they did a great job working with us on getting things completed in a timely manner and being flexible with design, timelines, etc. Out students have thoroughly enjoyed the play structures and areas that were installed."

Flora Elementary School has four separate play sites, all designed in consultation with principals Julie Pearce and Leslie Carder and the school district superintendent. Three of the those areas are for children in specific grade levels. The fourth is a common area for students in grades K-5; it includes 14 regular swings, a Jenn swing for special needs children, and covered picnic tables.

Each of the age-appropriate play areas features a different play system as a centerpiece or focal point. The main piece of the playground equipment for the pre-kindergarten area can accommodate up to 30 children, and up to 50 children can use the centerpiece of the K-2 play site. The main play structure for the grades 3-5 site measures 43 feet by 31 feet.

There are also covered picnic tables and sun shelters in all of the play areas. Engineered wood fiber was used as a safety surface in all of the playgrounds and the common area, and they all have plastic border timbers and wheelchair ramps.

School Specialty, Inc., a national supplier of school equipment and supplies, is the playground manufacturer's dealer and sold all of the equipment to the school district. School Specialty sold the interior furnishings and the playground equipment through a cooperative purchasing contract.

As for challenges, a wetter-than-normal summer slowed progress a bit. There was mud everywhere but the installers still managed to complete the playgrounds on time.

The company started out in 1982 as Olympic Recreation, and its first structure was made of wood and built in a classroom. By 1985, the business had grown so much that a new facility was opened in Gary, IN, and the company changed its name to its present form. It is a charter member of IPEMA and has maintained IPEMA and ISO certifications for many years.

To contact Kidstuff Playsystems, you can reach out to them via their website (www.kidstuffplaysystems.com), by phone (800-255-0153), or by email (rhagelberg@kidstuffplaysystems.com).

Special Credit to Landscape Architect and Specifier News (November 2016) for originally publishing the above article.

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Article Number: 1184

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