Meramec Elementary School students will return to school this fall to discover a brand new playground.
“We are thrilled Meramec is getting a new playground,” says outgoing Meramec PTO President Jenny Abeles. “The PTO and the entire Meramec community has worked for the past six years to make this a reality.”
A play structure with exciting and fun features will sit upon the current blacktop. Complete with three slides on a variety of levels, students will be able to explore stairs, tunnels and ramps. The fun expands below the equipment, with spaces to congregate and play. The equipment, which is all-age appropriate, connects to a climbing net, perfect for active, young learners.
Other features include a ten spin, which is a modern take on a merry-go-round that groups of students can enjoy together, climbing structures adjacent to the main equipment and swings.
A large shade structure will keep the playground cool. The surface under the new structure will be covered by Eco Turf, a synthetic grass with an all-natural sand infill and a safety shock cushioning pad. Manufactured from a non-abrasive polyethylene specifically for outdoor use, Eco Turf is treated with a UV inhibitor and stabilizers to resist the effects of ultraviolet degradation, water and airborne pollutants. The fiber is free from lead, heavy metals and rubber. The Eco Turf surface ensures full ADA compliance so that all Meramec students may enjoy the new playspace.
The current playground will be transformed into a full naturespace by the end of the 2018-2019 school year. Meramec students will learn in a covered outdoor classroom. Amongst a wood chip surface, students will explore a stepping stone trail, secret paths and a wood bridge. The nature scape will provide excellent cross-curricular learning opportunities as teachers can lead classes amongst native plants.
“We wanted to make sure that we are reaching children with different interests,” says Abeles. “From the new naturescape area with secret pathways and sensory gardens to a new play structure with a rope climber and swings, we are confident that our Meramec children are going to have a blast on this new playground.”
Frequently Asked Questions
What types of surfaces will be on the new playground?
The surface where the new play structure will be installed will be Shaw PlaySafe 50 artificial turf, supplied by EcoTurf. The surface where the new swing set will be installed will Engineered Wood Fiber.
What type of infill will be used for the EcoTurf artificial turf?
An all-natural sand infill, with a safety shock cushioning pad underneath will be used. The District will NOT be using crumb rubber or HydroChill coated sand as infill for the turf on the Meramec playground.
Is the surface ADA compliant?
Yes. The Shaw PlaySafe 50 Turf system meets meets ASTM F1951 Standard Specification for Determination of Accessibility of Surface Systems Under and Around Playground Equipment. EcoTurf also meets and exceeds ASTM F1292 Standard Specification for Impact Attenuation of Surfacing Materials Within the Use Zone of Playground Equipment. (Engineered Wood Fiber is also ADA compliant. However, to ensure ADA compliance, the manufacturer recommends the use of recycled rubber FibarMat Wear mats under all swings, slide exits and other excessive wear areas.)
What is EcoTurf made from?
Shaw PlaySafe 50 is made from a plastic material found in most households (milk cartons, shampoo bottles, freezer bags, cereal box liners, etc.). It is manufactured from a non-abrasive polyethylene specifically for outdoor use and treated with a UV stabilizer to resist the effects of ultraviolet degradation. The product contains no lead, heavy metals, or toxic substances. The cushioning pad is made from 99 percent recycled, non-contaminated post-industrial cross link, closed cell polyethylene foam and is 100 percent recyclable and free from lead, heavy metals and rubber.
Why was this surface recommended?
A comprehensive analysis was conducted by the District’s Facility Services Department. The report analyzed three possible playground surfaces: Engineered Wood Fiber, Artificial Turf and poured-in-place rubber. The report concluded that the Shaw PlaySafe 50 Turf System, with a natural sand infill, provided a solution that balances the needs of students with the District’s obligation to adhere to the Americans with Disabilities Act. Read the report.
What kind of warranty does the Shaw PlaySafe 50 have?
Shaw PlaySafe 50 Turf has an eight-year warrant and expected life span of eight to 10 years.