WINONA LAKE — A previously unused area on the property of Jefferson Elementary School has been re-purposed to give students there a physical challenge and a place to expend excess energy, thanks to efforts from the school’s Parent Teacher Organization.
On Wednesday, May 22, the school unveiled a recently constructed obstacle course featuring stages that require not only strength and agility, but balance as well.
Dr. David Robertson, Warsaw Community Schools’ Chief Academic Officer, said the school corporation had pondered for some time on what to do with the area to the south of the school building. “I was really glad to see it get used for this,” he said.
The course includes walls for scaling and climbing, as well as beams for balancing and platforms that require agility to properly complete.
Marla Schlatter, secretary of the PTO, said school leaders, including Principal Kyle Carter, visited a public obstacle course in Huntington for inspiration. Plans were drawn and “I took over some fundraising from there,” Schlatter said. “Everyone was just really supportive of it.”
Contractors, including Schlatter’s husband Daniel, prepared the ground for the structures and the course was finished with community help in two work days.
PTO President Jeri Purdy estimated the total cost of the project was $15,000. Approximately 35 to 40 people pitched in labor to build the course. A fence will be installed in the future around the course.