Students flock to the new play equipment on the first day it’s open to them. Photo courtesy Glen Ehrhardt

Students at Evergreen Elementary love the new addition to their playground equipment. The official name is a play structure, but of course, it’s affectionately labeled “The Big Toy.”

“They get lots of exercise going up and down,” said Hugh Maxwell, Evergreen principal.

Maxwell, new to the district this year, said the school board had a tour of the school last spring and determined that Evergreen had not had an upgrade in equipment for quite a few years.

His first indication of an addition to the area was several district workers looking at the playground, taking measurements and discussing possibilities –– especially for the area where there was nothing located.

“When they asked me what colors, I thought of greens and browns,” said Maxwell with a laugh. He agrees that the children love the bright red, green, yellow and blue mix.

The students receive training in safety and behavioral expectations on the playground, Maxwell said.

People thank him, he said, but said the thanks should be directed to Chuck Cuzzetto, superintendent, Dan Gregory, academic officer, and Ernie Elton, the director of facilities for the Peninsula School District.

By the looks of all the action, students who want to experience every possibility on the play equipment could most likely spend a whole recess climbing, sliding, creeping and moving to the next item without repeating any moves.

Maxwell said the new equipment does draw a crowd.

“On our last recess, when the entire school is outside, we have the primary and intermediate students alternate weekly to use it,” said Maxwell. “It can easily accommodate 40-50 kids at a time.”

The Evergreen staff, students and parents were so excited about the project as it progressed, and all appreciate the special addition to their outside play area, Maxwell said.