DULUTH - Concerned parents spoke out at Tuesday night’s Duluth School
Board meeting about what they says is lack of playground space for their kids
at Congdon Park Elementary.
They're worried recent construction, as part of the
district's Red Plan, may actually be taking away play space, ultimately affecting
the students' health.
One parent went as far as taking out a spread in the paper, citing
concern with what might be lost and urging other citizens to ask the school
board to reconsider plans at Congdon.
The elementary school off Superior Street serves one of the
largest populations of kids, but because of new additions like kindergarten
rooms there may be less playground room than even before construction began.
Parents stress that space is necessary as a health and learning necessity
“Physical activity plays a crucial role in improving the
learning ability and development of children and should be available to every
child at the school, said Sue VanOss, part of the school's PTA.
Sara Vallie, a Congdon parent, said, “Let’s not forever
change the landscape of what the neighborhood and the community and this school
has come to know when they drive by.”
“It does take a process. It’s going to take meetings. We can’t
all be left at the last minute, two days before not sure what’s really
happening, said Sue McClernon, a concerned parent.
After hearing from the public, Duluth Superintendent, Bill Gronseth
answered questions regarding the play space, saying a retaining wall, which
would create space, can be discussed at a later time because it doesn't impact
the progress of the building's foundation.
Gronseth has requested a more detailed plan for a retaining
wall to be built and the board agreed to have further discussions on finding
ways to create money for it.