After months of construction, the Mancos School District playground is finished and ready for play.
The final product was ushered in Monday morning by a ribbon-cutting ceremony attended by students, teachers and town and school officials. It will primarily serve elementary students during the school day, though after school hours the playground will be open to all Mancos residents.
“It’s great. It turned out beyond our expectations,” Superintendent Brian Hanson told The Journal last week.
The playground is one of a series of upgrades to the whole Mancos school campus site that is on track for final completion in spring 2020, according to Hanson. The playground’s final appraisal was a total $500,000, of which $110,000 was funded through a Greater Outdoors Colorado grant, with the rest supplied by funds allocated toward the larger renovation project, said elementary Principal Cathy Epps.
By including the playground in the scope of the entire school renovation project, school officials were able to construct the entire desired structure, whereas the GOCO money would have funded only part of the playground equipment.
“With this, it was a grant that would pay for maybe a couple pieces of equipment, but because Mr. Hanson put it all into our new redesign that we’re doing now, we got the whole thing,” Epps said at the ceremony. “So thank you, Mr. Hanson.”
The town of Mancos served as the fiscal agent for the project, although no town funds were used for the project, according to Town Manager Heather Alvarez.
The playground was designed two years ago by a youth task force that consisted of third- through fifth-grade students, Epps said. Key elements including climbing nets, slides and group swings that can hold four students at a time.
The playground project includes a new bridge crossing the Mancos River. The ribbon-cutting ceremony was conducted on the side opposite the new playground, after which the crowd of students rushed across to clamber atop the structure.
“They are so excited,” Epps said. “Because they’re the ones that designed this.”
Other components of the remodel are also on track, according to the district and Jaynes Construction Corp., which is charged with completing the $25 million project. Of the overall cost, $19.7 million is being supplied by a Building Excellent Schools Today grant, with about $5 million coming from a voter-approved bond measure.
While summer work consisted primarily of creating sufficient parking, a bus loop and laying the necessary infrastructure for the new additions, in recent months the campus has seen new roofing and framing for the projects.
Gym expansionWhen finished, the expansion of the Mancos school gym will hold a lobby, ticketing area, restrooms and weight room, according to Neil Dolder, project superintendent for Jaynes. Currently, progress on renovations to the north side of the gym are furthest along.
“Roofing is just about done,” Dolder said of the north side addition, while the south side “just finished up exterior framing.”
Construction on the gym is expected to wrap up May 2019, after which time the company will begin work on expansions to the performing arts center.
Elementary school additionsThe elementary school additions, which started this fall, will include a new cafeteria, administrative space and library, Dolder said. Next summer, they will remodel the kitchen area, he added.
Last week, Jaynes began decking and exterior framing work on the elementary addition, according to the district website. The additions are set for completion by August 2019, just in time for the 2019-20 school year.
New football fieldThe campus remodel also includes a new artificial turf football field, replacing the sod field that the team has been using. The new field will include a new concessions building and new bleachers, in addition to the turf.
Though construction on the field only began within the last few months, the lighting poles are up, offering a glimpse of how the new field will play out.
Last week, underslab plumbing for the concession building was on tap, as was pouring a mow curb around the football field, according to the district’s website.
Work on the field is expected to conclude by May, though it may spill over into the summer, Dolder said.