By Larry Austin
Island Dispatch Editor
The Kaegebein Playground Committee has reached its funding goal to build a new playground at the elementary school.
At Monday's Grand Island Board of Education meeting, the board voted to accept a donation from the committee that pushed its fundraiser over the target needed for a new playground at Kaegebein Elementary School.
"We have approximately a $38,500 gift from the playground committee at Kaegebein," Assistant Superintendent for Finance Robert McDow told the board.
"A little over $60,000 was raised," said Kaegebein Principal Mary Haggerty, noting the committee passed its target threshold thanks to one of the committee members.
McDow said the town had removed the old playground equipment from the Love Road school property. Both the town and the district would provide in-kind work until a groundbreaking date, which is eyed for Sept. 17.
Trustee Glenn Bobeck said the town owned the equipment that was on school property. The school has done the upkeep on the playground in the past, McDow said, because of liability concerns.
The school board and Grand Island Town Board will discuss the matter further when they hold a joint meeting Monday at 7 p.m. in Town Hall.
Board Vice President Sue Marston said on social media that the playground equipment has been ordered and volunteers are now needed to construct the playground Friday, Sept. 18, to Sunday, Sept. 20, with work starting every day at 8 a.m.
McDow said building the new playground is a job two to four days in length.
Also at the meeting:
•The board appointed Theresa Alizadeh of Grand Island as the new supervisor of transportation, replacing Jack Burns, who retired in June. It appointed Christopher DeMarcoas the interim director of physical education, replacing Jim Walker, who resigned. Both had effective starting dates of Aug. 25.
•The first day of school is Wednesday, Sept. 2. It will be a full day of school with regular hours. There is no school Friday, Sept. 4, and Monday, Sept. 7, in observance of the Labor Day holiday.