Video shows off Academie Lafayette’s Cherry Street playground

Judging from this video, kids are enjoying the new playground features at the Academie Lafayette Charter School in Hyde Park. The school serves kindergarten through second grade students, and the playground is also open to kids in the Hyde Park around the school.

When the school opened in 2012, parents joined together to build a quality play are as cheaply as possible.

Along with their own hard work, they got some pro bono assistance from two local firms, KEM STUDIO, which designed the playground, and A. Zahner Company, which fabricated the slide structure.

KEM, a design firm that says it fuses architecture and industrial design, developed the plans for the playground and created forms that could be built entirely by volunteers, incorporating found and recycled objects along with donated materials.

Phase Two of the project includes a slide/tunnel/climbing structure, swings, climbing walls, a sand table and a balance beam.

Jonathon Kemnitzer, a principal at KEM STUDIO, had a double interest in the design; two of his children attend the school. He also said the limited budget called for innovation.

“We wanted to do something to give back to the school and community,” explains Kemnitzer. “The limited budget gave us an opportunity to design custom forms that could be built by parents, but more important reinforce the collaborative way kids play. The big idea was to encourage imagination and creative group play through the design, scale and proximity of the forms. In the completion of Phase Two, we saw a continued outpouring of support from parents, teachers and neighborhood group volunteers, and were particularly excited that Zahner was willing to fabricate the slide structure at a reduced cost. It’s been rewarding to see all of these amazing companies and people come together for the school, kids and the community.”

Parents and the school raised $45,000 for the project and also got donations of materials. In addition, many hours of parent, teacher and administrator volunteer hours were donated to complete the Cherry Street playground.

Previous posts

  • Crowdsourcing project helping to fund Académie Lafayette playground
  • Parents build playground for Académie Lafayette students

More photos of the playground

Photo courtesy KEM STUDIO.


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