Re-imagining play at Cassingham

Some enthusiastic giving is needed for Cassingham Elementary to install a new playground by the beginning of the 2017-2018 school year. The parents leading the fundraising effort have set a $200,000 fundraising goal to transform the aging playground. 

The current Cassingham playground was remodeled in 1995, and is nearing the end of its life. Rather than simply replace the existing structures, the parents’ committee would like to re-imagine the playground, creating an environment that supports healthy play for children with varied needs and abilities. “It needs to foster creativity and imagination, and be in accordance with the way kids move and play together,” said Sarah Saxbe, a ’93 BHS alum and the parent of two Cassingham students.

To come up with a proposed playground design, the committee sought input from parents at a community meeting, surveyed students at Cassingham, and took a group of children on a tour of nearby playgrounds to see what clicked.

“Kids love to not touch the ground,” said parent Tim Pitts, who is chairing the fundraising drive, “and they want more moving parts.” The proposed design includes a climbing structure and additional swings, and the committee’s working theme, “treetops of Bexley,” is expressed in structures that have a natural appearance as well as the incorporation of existing trees.

A “Great Gatsby”-themed fundraiser earlier this month raised $30,000 for the project, and a family-oriented field day fundraiser is scheduled for April 30. The committee hopes to assemble the playground through a three-day volunteer “community build,” which will provide a significant cost savings, and the school district will pay for the ADA-approved fall surface. The Cassingham PTO has made a substantial financial commitment to the project.

To learn more about the Cassingham playground project, including how to make a designated gift to the project through the BEF, visit  www.cassinghamplayground.com or contact the Bexley Education Foundation office at (614) 338-2093.