Childs, Girard School and Kirkbride School are three South Philly schools that will be seeing some playground improvements. The Big Sandbox, Knight Foundation, TBS and students from the University of Colorado and Iowa State University put together this program to allow these schools and others around the city to receive assistance in reinventing their outdoor play and learning spaces.
All of the schools have been seeking feedback through surveys, but more recently, Neighbors Investing in Childs Elementary hosted an information session to present the first draft designs for the schoolyard improvements at G.W. Childs.
The plan is to create two different play spaces, one on the school’s rooftop for grades kindergarten through 5th, then the normal ground floor schoolyard for 6th through 8th grades.
This new schoolyard should allow for imaginative, educational and recreational play. The idea is to have things like climbing sculptures, an urban eco playground, a sitting area, a basketball court and more to allow for different levels of play, interaction and learning.
Two potential designs for the rooftop space include a “rainforest” design and an “under the parachute design.” Each version includes a different color scheme and slightly different space uses. There could be a running and walking track, a classroom space and various types of play equipment. The outdoor space could be transformed differently, with practical improvements for the school including the relocation of the entrance and dumpsters, along with a restructured parking lot to allow for a better parent drop-off and pick-up location.