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$50K playground grant awarded to Woodbury Elementary

T-R FILE PHOTO – The Woodbury Elementary playground area is about to get bigger after the school was awarded a nationally-competitive grant.

The northeast side of Marshalltown was squarely in the crosshairs of the July 19 tornado and many homes and businesses in the area were devastated.

Woodbury Elementary School did not see the level of destruction of many other area buildings, but its students were impacted by the storm. The school was awarded a national grant for a new playground area.

“Due to the tornado situation, that probably enhanced our competitiveness,” said Marshalltown Schools Superintendent Theron Schutte.

He said the sponsors of the project include Keurig/Dr. Pepper and Fareway Stores Inc. The grant, estimated at about $50,000, is provided by KaBOOM!, a non-profit organization focused on building playgrounds in communities nationally.

Schutte learned of the grant through friend and fellow MHS Class of 1981 graduate Jeff Wrage who works for Dr. Pepper Snapple Group.

With the grant approval accepted at this week’s school board meeting, there are some important dates to keep in mind for the project.

The first is May 30, designated as a design day. Around noon, Schutte, Woodbury Principal Anel Garza and district buildings and grounds director Chuck Springer will do a walk-through of the school property to check out where the playground could go.

After school gets out that afternoon, groups of Woodbury K-3 students will have an opportunity to share what they want to see in the new playground. A similar input-gathering session will be held with the community the evening of May 30 at the school so parents and community members can share their thoughts.

The build day will be July 19, the one-year anniversary of the tornado that devastated the Woodbury neighborhood. District communications director Andrew Potter said community volunteers are being sought to help with the work on the build day.

Those interested in helping out with the playground project can sign up to volunteer by clicking the “Sign up to volunteer for the Woodbury playground build” link on the district homepage, https://www.marshalltown.k12.ia.us/

For more on KaBOOM!, visit https://kaboom.org/

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Contact Adam Sodders at

641-753-6611 or

asodders@timesrepublican.com