Community raises more than $80K for “all abilities” playground in Elizabethton

ELIZABETHTON, TN (WJHL)- A playground for people with all abilities is opening Thursday in Elizabethton. Hundreds of people helped raise more than $80,000 to build this playground.

“We couldn’t have done without working together and I think it makes our community a much stronger community,” Parent Teach Organization president Alainya Hare said.

Because of the layout of West Side Elementary School, it is the designated ADA school for kids with disabilities in Elizabethton City Schools, Principal John Wright said.

Before now, Wright said the playground equipment was outdated, unsafe, and more than 20 years old.

“We have probably five or six children that are in wheelchairs and when they would come out for playtime there was really nothing for them to do and when they would come out they would get pushed around the track and watch the other children play,” Wright said.

The new playground includes an ADA-compliant ramp, modified swings, and sensory activities.

“We like to call it an all abilities playground. We like that term because children with all abilities, adults with all abilities will be able to use this playground,” Wright said.

Thursday at noon all of the hard work of the community comes together at the official ribbon cutting of the new “all abilities” playground.

“This right here is investing in a child because it’s going to help with developing a child physically, emotionally, socially, and in many areas. And when I see families here after school, I like that too because that’s helping build up families,” Wright said.

The playground will also be open to the community after school hours.

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