BELGRADE — Children in town may have a new place to play by the fall.

The Belgrade Central School Parent Teacher Organization is raising money to install a new playground that will be a modern upgrade from the current structures, according to teacher and PTO member Eric Brooks.

The new playground would also be more accessible for children who are less mobile and have a harder time using the play structures at the school now, he said.

“We have some students at the moment who can’t access some larger parts of the play structures due to their mobility needs,” Brooks said.

The two playgrounds behind the school are also old, with some structures dating back almost 40 years, he said. The most recent parts were added in 2002.

The new addition would be placed in between the current playgrounds, consolidating them into one, he said, and the older pieces that are at “the end of their usable life” will be removed.

The organization is hoping to raise $50,000 for the project.

“This was a goal based on what the PTO thought was realistic to ask the community for, but would also provide a significant update to what we have,” Brooks said.

Right now, the organization has $15,000 it’s raised over the years, which it plans to use for the project.

There is also a GoFundMe page for the project.

“It’s a very, very supportive community and active PTO,” said Belgrade principal Gwen Bacon.

She hopes the expansion will benefit everyone who uses the playground, she said, which includes the town’s summer residents.

Lisa Gagne-Sengendo, a member of the PTO, is also planning fundraisers with restaurants in Augusta, such as Panera Bread and Margaritas.

“The more attendance, the better, because then we can get anywhere from 10 percent to 50 percent profit for us,” she said.

If the organization does not meet its goal in time to order the playground equipment for the fall, Brooks said it will install the new parts in phases.

“As an elementary school, we value play and creativity,” Brooks said. “Our staff is very good about letting students have their recess and know they need the fresh air and outdoor time as much as they need their academics.”

Madeline St. Amour can be contacted at 861-9239 or at:

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