EA plans to break ground on an exciting, new Lower School playground by this fall. The existing playground will remain in operation through the majority of the 2022-23 school year with the hope of completing and opening the new playground by spring 2023.
"We have this beautiful campus and a ton of space outside of the Lower School, so we are able to dream big and leverage the incredible natural landscape available to us," shared Head of Lower School Dr. Terry Malone. "One of our big goals has been to design this playground in a way that naturally extends our classrooms outdoors and empowers continual learning and exploration."
The new playground will be built along the side of the Lower School building and up the hill that leads to the Clark Campus Green. Traditional playground activities, like slides, swings, zip lines, and a gaga ball pit, will be available, in addition to new natural features, like bogs, rocks, water ways, rock climbing, and more.
The Playground Committee, which was composed of parents, administrators, teachers, and students, worked hard this year to partner with an architectural firm, assess campus space, conduct research on other playgrounds, and interview parents and teachers. As the leaders in the Lower School, 5th grade students played an important role in gathering feedback and ideas from their younger peers through hosting focus groups within each classroom.
"I can't wait to see how all of our ideas develop and help to shape the new playground!" shared one 5th grader. "I am most excited for the new zip lines!"
The upcoming groundbreaking is possible due to the generosity of three EA families. Recognizing the immense impact it will have on EA's young scholars, these families offered generous gifts to the Shape Tomorrow campaign, designated for the playground project. As the construction project progresses, there will be additional opportunities for the EA community to offer support.
"Play represents creativity, exploration, experimentation, and socialization. It is critical and essential to a child's overall development," explained Dr. Malone. "Our early education program is a play-based program, which helps children make sense of their world at early ages through play. Our new playground will assist our teachers in continuing to offer incredible learning experiences for our students."
Hear more about the plan in the latest episode of EA's podcast EA Unlocked, hosted by Greville Haslam Head of School Dr. T.J. Locke.