Volunteers Build New Playground at Lucy Craft Laney

Updated: 06/04/2014 12:48 PM KSTP.com By: Katherine Johnson

Photo: Courtesy of KaBOOM!
Photo: Courtesy of KaBOOM!

Kids at Lucy Craft Laney at Cleveland Park Community School in North Minneapolis have been playing soccer, jump rope and four square in a dirt field ever since the school was built. Now, thanks to 200 volunteers, the students will enjoy recess on the school's first playground.

When you've got more than 700 students on your hands, there's not a lot of time to get things done, so building a playground in less than six hours is a welcomed challenge for Principal Mauri Melander.

"They were stopping me, even first graders, saying, 'Miss Melander, today is the day! Today is the big day!' they are so excited," she said.

Students at the North Minneapolis school have never played on a proper school playground.

"They needed a safe place for their children to play," Project Manager Naudy Martinez said. "A safe place that was within walking distance and a safe place that they could call their very own."

The Minnesota Vikings partnered with the Toro Company and the non-profit KaBoom to build the student-designed playground, donating more than $600,000 dollars to build a total of nine playgrounds in the Twin Cities. Organizers say the goal is to give kids a safe place to play and enjoy healthy, active lifestyles.

The playground will be complete by Wednesday afternoon and will be open for play next Tuesday.

Learn more about the KaBOOM! initiative here.