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Belfield Public School gets new playground equipment

Belfield students have a brand new playground that brings the school in line with safety regulations.

new equipment
Belfield Public Schools recently added a large climbing structure to their playground.
Contributed / Belfield Public Schools
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BELFIELD, N.D. — Belfield Public School children were worried when their playground equipment was being torn out on Oct. 14, but were elated to discover a whole new playground several days later. Superintendent Daren Kurle said monkey bars, spring riders and a few other structures were removed. The equipment was dated and some didn’t meet current safety standards, he said.

A large climbing configuration with several slides and a new swing set was installed in their place. The model purchased allows for more features to be easily added in the future. Kurle said the elementary school kids are calling the change “awesome.”

new swings
Belfield Public School recently added a new swing set to their playground.
Contributed / Belfield Public School

“They weren't really sure what was happening when we took the stuff out and I even got a little grumbling because we took some pieces out that they really liked but this new big structure, they love it,” Kurle said. “You know we're just hoping that everybody stays safe on it and they enjoy it.”

Kurle said the project cost approximately $120,000. The school was awarded a $30,000 grant from the playground company Burke to offset costs. Excess tax revenue was shifted to the school's building fund to cover the rest.

“We're donating whatever is salvageable and compliant to the Belfield Parks and Rec so that they have some structures to put on our various parks within the town,” Kurle said. “We're not selling anything. We want to make sure that if entities can use it, they can have it.”

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A new swing set was among the features installed, but the old one still stands, for now at least. Kurle plans to have it removed before the ground freezes. Although an exact date is hard to pinpoint, he and Dan Obrigewitch, Belfield Public School Board president, estimate the old swing set was installed in the 1970s.

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“You know, actually the swings and teeter totters were there when I was a kid, and they were there way before that,” Obrigewitch said. “And some of the other stuff was put in like when I was in high school in the 90s.”

He is happy the project was completed, since the new equipment is safer.

“You know, we do need to update things and keep them in compliance and in good shape too,” Obrigewitch said.

The playground project will also include some landscaping, to help keep rainwater and snowmelt away from the building, Kurle said.

Wesley Krebs, Belfield Public School Board vice president, said his kids were excited to have the new addition to their playground.

"That's all they want to talk about was the playground because they saw it going up Sunday and they're just excited,” Krebs said. “It's always nice to have newer things and let's get the kids a chance to have some fun that way.”

belfieldplayground3.jpg
The old swing set at Belfield Public School still stands, but not for long.
Contributed / Belfield Public School
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Ashley Koffler is a Killdeer, North Dakota native and Dickinson State University graduate, with a Bachelor’s Degree in writing, and minors in journalism and psychology. Formerly working in Community Affairs for Roosevelt Custer Regional Council for Development, her reporting focuses on the Dickinson city government, community features, business and agriculture — among others.
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