With spring rapidly approaching, students at the Boston Children’s School at Charles River Park are eagerly awaiting returning to its private playground on a more regular basis.
More than five years ago, Bob and Judy Langer, the school’s executive and program directors, respectively, were looking for a special way to commemorate its 50th anniversary in 2015, when they broached the idea of building a new playground. While the existing facility was safe, and the structures still all met safety requirements, many of them were more than 30 years old. The Langers decided, given the Boston Children’s School’s status as one of the few schools in and around the city with its own private playground, it was time for an upgrade.
They subsequently spent the better part of the the next two years visiting playgrounds statewide, from Boston to the Berkshires and Cape Cod to Rockport, talking to parents, kids and other school directors. They eventually settled on UltiPlay Parks & Playgrounds – an Uxbridge-based manufacturer of commercial recreational equipment for playgrounds and parks and a provider for Playworld Systems, Inc., of Lewisburg, Penn.
Besides providing an unconditional, 15-year warrantee, Ultiplay allows customers to customize each piece of equipment to their personal preferences. “It’s like buying a car with all the options they give you to choose from, including different color choices,” Bob Langer said, adding that they selected primary colors for the new equipment to appeal to young children.
Metal fencing with secured gates now surrounds the playground for safety and security purposes while some of the children’s favorite new equipment includes a fun house, the “Lazy Bones Bridge,” Oscar the Caterpillar, a crawl-through structure and various “ride-on” vehicles.
The equipment, which was paid for through parent donations and the school’s annual giving campaign, meets the state’s Department of Early Education and Care safety requirements, and all playground activities are supervised by teachers.
Ultiplay also installed the equipment at safe distances apart from each other to ensure that children don’t hurt themselves or each other while playing.
Mike Parody, owner of UltiPlay, came before, during and after installation of the equipment, and still checks in occasionally to make sure the Lagers remain satisfied with his company’s work.
While Bob said he missed the classic equipment so much at first that Parody gave him a piece of wood salvaged from an old structure as a keepsake, “I’ve really fallen in love with the new ones.”
And most importantly, the new equipment continues to be a big hit with the children from both the school and the upcoming Summer Fun Program.
“The kids are really the weathervane,” he said. “They really took to it and still love it.” The Boston Children’s School is located at 8 Whittier Place in the West End. For more information, call 617-36706239, email [email protected] or visit http://www.bostonchildrensschool.org.