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December 2, 2004

Children at School for the Deaf getting new playground today

From: Jackson Clarion Ledger, MS - Dec 2, 2004

By Lora Hines

Anticipation filled the cold air early today at the Mississippi School for the Deaf as students watched construction of their new playground.

In fact, the children could be in a race with teachers and staff members to see who gets to play first on the new equipment.

"I plan to be first on the swing," said elementary school principal Pam Hervey.

The state's only school for deaf children, located on Eastover Drive off I-55 North, has been without a playground for about three years. That's when state and federal officials deemed old equipment unsafe and ordered its removal.

Since then, the school's 53 elementary students have had just one, tiny four-seat bouncing see-saw to play on. The school didn't have the estimated $45,000 needed to create a new play space.

School administrators, Home Depot and KaBOOM!, a non-profit playground-building organization, starting playground planning about two months ago.

About 100 Home Depot employees and school staff and older students started work at about 8:30 a.m.. They expect to finish by 3 p.m.

The children will have swings, slides and a rock-climbing wall when the job is complete.

Copyright © 2004, The Clarion-Ledger.