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School Plans Educational Playground

Science Park

Sully Elementary School PTO members Valerie Petrey and Peter Kronenberg met with community members to discuss The Sully Science Park and Playground plans in the school’s auditorium Thursday, Nov. 3.

"The science park is different," Kronenberg said. "It is going to have educational components to it."

Children can play at the park and learn about friction, gravity and DNA. Parents have not made specific plans for the park, but have gathered ideas from science parks across the country.

THE SULLY SCIENCE Park and Playground will cost about $100,000, double the cost of an average playground.

"It is not necessarily more expensive. We are doing a lot more. There will be more activities," Kronenberg said. "And the free labor will save us money."

Labor costs twice the amount of materials, Kronenberg said.

The PTO has applied for several grants, including a Housing and Urban Development Community Development block grant, to build the park.

"The county does not pay for a playground. The PTAs and PTOs raise money for them," Petrey said. "When the money comes in, then we can start planning and building the park."

If awarded the grant, the school will receive money July 1. "Realistically, I would like to say we will be out there this summer doing it," Petrey said.

COMMUNITY MEMBERS will have input on the park, Petrey said. The park will be designed by Leathers and Associates’ John Dean and is based on a Montessori-school playground in Texas.

"We tell the designer what kinds of science aspects we want in the park and he will put them in," Kronenberg said.

Kronenberg encouraged Loudoun County residents to spread word about the park, talk to local businesses and sponsor events to raise money for the park.

"Once we have a design, people can sponsor specific components of it," Kronenberg said.

The park will take hundreds of volunteers to build over a five-day period.

The Sully Elementary School PTO will hold an indoor craft fair Saturday, Nov. 18, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., at Sully Elementary School on Circle Drive in Sterling, to raise money for the playground.