By Chris De Benedetti and Rebecca Parr
Park Elementary School students clambered on a new playground structure Wednesday just hours after the last piece was put in place.
The $45,000 structure was donated by Lowe's and Carter's Kids, a nonprofit agency that promotes youth fitness and self-esteem. The Hayward school district also contributed money. It replaces old equipment removed in January during a day of service. Parents, children and staff members joined Cal State East Bay students and employees to spruce up the school grounds.
"They tore down the old equipment, which was completely rusted," said Principal Aaron Tigerino. "It had a lot of hazards and broken pieces."
On Monday, district workers took out the last of the old structure, and more than 70 volunteers from Lowe's began work on the new equipment. The last pieces were installed at 9 a.m. Wednesday, two hours before the official ribbon-cutting, Tigerino said.
"I'm ecstatic," he said. "This playground truly was a collaborative effort."
The new equipment is for kindergarten through third-grade students. Tigerino has started looking at ways to replace the aging structure used by the school's fourth- through sixth-grade students.