By Janet Goetze
For the Hollywood Star News
The Playground Improvement Committee of the Laurelhurst School PTA has received a $15,000 donation from Providence Portland Medical Center for a project expected to cost $295,000, said spokesman Janos Bodnar.
The Providence donation is one of several made by local businesses, alumni and students for a multi-use playground that the committee hopes to complete in 2017, Bodnar said.
Krista Farnham, chief operating officer at Providence Portland, said, “Central to our work in health care is helping to create healthier communities. There is no better way to create healthier communities than by making sure our children have safe and creative ways to be outside and play.”
Between April and August, the playground committee raised $90,000 toward its goal. A Laurelhurst alumna, Arlene Schnitzer, offered a $20,000 matching grant which the committee matched in three weeks, Bodnar said.
Laurelhurst’s playground is essentially an asphalt parking lot, he said, but parents, staff and students have joined forces to plan a 19,000-square-foot, multi-sports field with alternative turf infill material. The plan also includes a 6,000-square-foot covered outdoor play area for year-round shade and shelter, increasing physical education and outdoor recess options for students.
A creative play area, with a new play structure, also is planned for children of all ages, Bodnar said.
Project support has come from Zupan’s Market, Whole Foods Market, The Mattress Loft and Columbia Distributing. A kindergarten student sold bagels and coffee at a garage sale to raise $300. A fifth-grade student sold lemonade and donated $100 to the fund. A group of fourth-graders organized a root beer float sale that raised $1,000. Other students have contributed funds from bake sales, Popsicle sales and their own savings, Bodnar said.