CORBIN — Special to the Times-Tribune
While it may not be Disneyland or even Dollywood, students at Lay Elementary are just as excited about their new playground. On Friday, September 3rd, they joined teachers and other community members in dedicating the completion of the first phase of construction.
“This is a celebration of a lot of hard work”, said Lay principal Jeff Frost at the dedication ceremony. “This is probably about $60,000 of work that has happened.”
The Lay Elementary playground features all new equipment including swings, a triple infinity climber, triple hoop, and a covered picnic table area. A major highlight of the playground is the new rubber mulch which covers the entire surface.
“We want to realize that this isn’t the end, this is just the beginning”, Frost told students during the dedication ceremony. “We are working already to get our big structure.” The big structure that Frost mentioned includes a rock challenge wall, quantum slide, hi-climber, “fire escape” climber, clatter bridge, colossus slide, and more. The Lay PTO is currently scheduling a variety of fundraisers to help raise money needed to purchase the structure. It will be located in the middle of the playground area. Phase one of the playground project was made possible by donations, fundraisers, and grants obtained by Lay Elementary. The Lay PTO, Board of Education, City of Barbourville, Knox Fiscal Court, Division of Solid Waste, KY Department of Energy, and Lowes all contributed to the new playground area. “This is an opportunity for Lowes to give back to the community”, said Denise Campbell a representative from Lowes of Corbin. Lay Elementary was the recipient of a toolbox grant from Lowes which helped fund the playground. “You may not realize it today, but in about 20 years you will be pulling up in this parking lot to pick up your own children and you will glance over at this playground and remember this day”, Campbell told students.
Assistant Superintendent Kim Merida hopes that the effort put forth at Lay will be echoed throughout the district. “Lay has now sent out a challenge to all of our other schools in the district”, Merida said. “They can get this too if they really put the work in and do the dedication it takes to get these grants.” Frost said that the new playground was one of many things on his to-do list when he first became principal at Lay Elementary. “We hope to have it complete by Christmas”, Frost told students and staff during the dedication. Individuals who would like to donate to the Lay Elementary playground project may contact the school at (606)546-6524.